Will Tummy Tuck Cost Less if a Surgeon Has Their Own Surgical Suite?

I am seeking Tummy Tuck in the Bay Area of California. I have consulted with 2 surgeons. The one I like will cost $18K (12K of which is his fee.) He has his own suite.

The other, would cost $9K and does not have his own suite. Both come well recommended. At this point, I'm at a loss. At $18K, I feel this procedure is costing me more than it should. The highest cost I've read on this site is $14K. But I really like the doctor and he comes well recommended.

Doctor Answers 6

Plastic Surgery Costs

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Thanks for the question.

When seeking a plastic surgeon it is important to select someone who:

  1. Is well qualified and board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
  2. Has performed many of these procedures
  3. Takes the time to discuss the risks, benefits and alternatives with you
  4. You have a good rapport with
  5. THEN price...

Having your own surgery suite does not necessarily mean a higher or a lower price. It also does not mean the surgeon is well qualified to perform the procedure. The highest price also does not necessarily mean the best choice for you (nor does the lowest!).

In our San Francisco area practice that price for a tummy tuck alone would be high. The fact that you're seeking additional input regarding your decision may mean you should consider talking to a few more surgeons.

I hope this helps.

Cost of a Tummy Tuck

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The price is dependent on many factors - is it a mini, full or extended abdominoplasty such as a fleur de lis pattern where redundant skin is removed from the center as well as the bottom of the abdomen? Is it skin only or does it include tightening of the muscles? Will Liposuction also be necessary? Will it be performed in a hospital with an overnight stay or in an independent out-patient facility? Will a surgical assistant be needed? Will a board-certified anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist be used? Will an (anti) pain pump be used?
All of these factors influence the cost. In Orange County, the estimated range is $7000- $15,000+ depending on the variables above.

The cost of Tummy tucks vary significantly for a number of good reasons:

Prices vary greatly because the surgery itself encompasses a wide range of techniques that can be performed to different extents. My recommendation is to first find the most qualified surgeons where you want the surgery performed that are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery you trust, then compare prices between them.

See the below link on suggestions on how to find the most qualified plastic surgeon for your procedure.

General Factors that influence the price of plastic surgery include:

1. Location - Will it be performed in a hospital with an overnight stay, an independent out- patient facility or a doctor’s office? Geographical location also has a significant influence. RealSelf has average charges for most areas of the USA.

2. Type of Anesthesia - IV sedation or General Anesthesia? Will a board certified anesthesiologist, nurse anesthetist, or an RN be used?

3. Experience and training of your surgeon. The best and longest trained is most often a plastic surgeon board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

4. Length and Complexity of Surgery - how difficult will your surgery be and how long it will take, etc. Will other complementary procedures also be also performed during the same surgery?


Tummy Tucks Costs and Surgical Suite

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Dear Moxiegirl,

There are really two separate questions:

The first is whether or not a surgeon having his or her own surgical suite raises the cost of the surgery (as opposed to doing it in a hospital).  There is no absolute answer for this but, in general, it is usually possible to do it for less in an office or ambulatory surgical suite environment, in which the surgeon has as greater degree of control, than in an hospital, where he or she doesn't.  That doesn't mean that it always DOES cost less but my guess is that it normally could.

However, the larger issue, as you've raised it, is selecting a surgeon you're comfortable with.  This is (obviously) an important decisions and you want to make sure that your surgeon is qualified (board-certified, experienced in the procedure you're having done, etc) and that that's the surgeon you want.  There are of course financial realities - we often cannot afford what we want - but making a compromise decision just because of price in a situation like plastic surgery can have significant consequences.  There are no guarantees for this (or any other) surgical procedure, but making a decision based just on cost, if avoidable, is not something I'd recommend.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Trust your instincts when it comes to plastic surgery

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The most important decision you make in having plastic surgery if choosing your surgeon. You need to make sure you are comfortable with them after your consultation and you trust that you can work together to get your desired results. If you aren't comfortable because you are unsure about their surgical skill, training (always look for board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery) or general bedside manner, keep looking. Similarly, if you are uncomfortable with the price or location where your surgery will be, meet with another plastic surgeon.

In your situation, it seems like you feel more comfortable with the first surgeon after meeting with them. Unfortunately the price seems too high for you. You need to evaluate what surgery with them would be worth TO YOU. I'm not telling you to price shop -- I think price shopping leads patients to more trouble -- but to seriously think about what you learned and discussed during your consultation. Don't just believe that you need to pay that much because of what other people have said. As for the second surgeon, I'm not sure that is where you should go either because I don't know what your impression is about them except the price.

Bottom line, if you aren't comfortable, meet with a third plastic surgeon (or more). Trust yourself in who you feel will give you the best results at a price you can afford.

Tummy Tuck Cost

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The fees for surgery in the Bay Area are certainly a great deal more than in Louisville. Our community is fortunate to have a number of facilities that charge reasonable prices for cosmetic surgery. Surgeons with their own suites still have significant costs to make sure they are safe and up to standards. If you choose to have surgery performed in a private facility, make certain that the surgeon is credentialed to operate in a hospital also.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Finding a plastic surgeon for a tummy tuck

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Who is recommending your plastic surgeon? I would talk to a trusted friend and see her result. Those prices do seem high. Having your own suite can actually drive costs up. You might want to shop around a bit more. Don't look for the cheapest price, but rather, the surgeon with whom you feel most comfortable.

Jack Gelman, MD
Frankfort Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.