I had a tummy tuck 8 years ago when I was 36. I didn't have to pay for it out of pocket because it was covered by my insurance because the plastic surgeon said it was medically necessary since I had a lot of skin drooping over and the weight of that pulling on my stomach caused a hernia. I put $2000 because that is what the deductable was.
At the time of the surgery, my 4 children were 2,4,8 & 9. All were C-sections, except for the first... but she was about 15 minutes away from one, and I wish she had been. I had a love hate relationship with my stomach; I wouldn't trade my babies for anything, but I hated not being able to wear 'normal' clothes anymore that didn't have elastic waist band. I felt so ugly I didn't feel like I deserved any nice clothes. So, I basically wore swears 90% of the time. [oh, yeah... my 7 older cousins nick name for me was budha belly from the time I was born; not fat... just round]
I absolutely LOVE my tummy now! It's really hard to describe how much better it makes me feel. I can wear normal clothes now, and I don't feel guilty buying new ones! I got a part time job in a very upscale women's clothing store, so I can now buy really nice clothes at 40% off, and even 40% off the clearance price!!!
I would tell any woman who wants one to go for it. Yes, the recovery period is very difficult, but it was SOOO worth it!!! I'd do it all over again. I don't look at it as being 'vain'... if it is going to help YOU feel better. Don't do it for anyone else. Like, don't do it for your husband or boyfriend, or if you are single, and you think you need it to get a man. Don't do it for those reasons. Do it for YOU. If you feel a man wouldn't want to be with you because you have a tummy, you don't need him in your life anyway!!!
If you don't care what other people think, and you are okay with a tummy, then don't waste your money and don't risk surgery. If you think that just because you have a flat tummy now, that you can pig out and not worry about your waist, FORGET IT!!! Your bad eating choices will just go somewhere else!!! Your thighs will get bigger, your calves will get bigger, and your butt will get bigger, and your arms will get bigger. YOU do NOT want to look disporportioned. I worked for a doctor that did lipo and we saw a lot of women who did this. They thought just because the fat got sucked out, it meant they could continue eating like a pig and not pay the consequence. Then, they are upset because they're body looked even worse than before because th areas where it was reduced are still reduced, but the areas around it got fatter. Not a pretty picture!!
So, for what it's worth... go about it for the right reasons and the right way because it's pretty serious surgery. I'm glad I did it!!!! You should be in good health and NOT SMOKING OR DRINKING because that will not help the healing and recovery. You do NOT want to go there!!!