Smart Lipo Quote Too Expensive?

Smart Lipo quote seems very expensive compared to regular liposuction. I went for a consultation for Smart Lipo on my knees, inner and outer thighs, and flanks. I was quoted $9,500 for the procedure. It was $2,000 just to use the laser.

This seems very expensive as I do not have that much fat to remove. She said she could probably only remove about 2 liters. Does this price seem reasonable? I had other consultations on traditional lipo of the same areas and it was $4,800.

Doctor Answers 1

Several points to consider....

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Hi there-

There are few factors which need to be taken into consideration in order to relate costs appropriately...

First of all, there seems to be a lot of geographic variability to the costs of surgical procedures, with costs being higher in sophisticated regions where the cost of living is generally higher.

Secondly, it is important to remember that surgeons are like any other professional, and our fees will vary with our education, training, reputation, and skills... we are not all created equal, and the demand for our services is not equal either. Simple rules of economics apply. You can often find excellent values in aesthetic care by finding a well-trained younger surgeon who perhaps isn't as established as a more expensive surgeon, but you will need to do your homework to be sure the level of training, experience and skill is what you are comfortable with.

Finally, remember that the device itself is very expensive (I think the SmartLipo device costs your surgeon about $160,000!)- and these costs end up getting passed on to the patients of the doctor.

Considering that there are NO well-done and objective studies done to indicate or even suggest that laser liposuction offers any benefit at all over other options (tumescent liposuction, ultrasonic liposuction), and in my opinion is more dangerous than these other options (the laser gets "hot"), the added expense is not justifiable in my mind.

Having said all of that, however, I think that too often the most important point gets missed in all of these discussions of liposuction techniques and costs...

The fundamental reality is that your outcome (and it IS your desired outcome that led you to research options for body contouring in the first place, right?) is going to depend MUCH MORE on the person holding the instrument than on the instrument itself. You've heard the old saying that "It's the carpenter, not his tools, that maters"? This is a simplification, of course, as I do think that good tools help, but the point is that a good surgeon gets good outcomes with whatever tool he/she prefers.

The companies manufacturing these devices are guilty (in my opinion) of some devious sales tactics, leading nice people to believe that it is the device that makes the difference and that you would be "dumb" (that is the implication, after all) to not have your treatment done with their "smart" device. In truth, I have seen many terrible outcomes from "Smart" lipo, not necessarily because the device is terrible, but because most often the treatment was performed by an un-skilled surgeon (in fact, in most of these cases the person was not even a plastic surgeon).

So, my advice to you and to all is to FIRST find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon that you like and feel you can trust (being board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery is your indication that that surgeon completed YEARS of liposuction training, not days or weeks), THEN talk to them about your options. This will be much more likely to take you down the path to your desired body contour than concentrating on costs or machines....

Good luck!

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