How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?

I had 3 c-sections and planning to have a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) done, but I'm not sure how much a tummy tuck costs.  What are average tummy tuck prices? 

Doctor Answers 317

How MUCH is a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

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My 2010 fee for a full or standard Tummy Tuck (also called Abdominoplasty) is 4,200 dollars. I purposefully set my charge to be both affordable in the Memphis market and competitive when compared to the significantly higher national charges for the same operation. According to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the 2009 average American Plastic surgeon’s fee for a Tummy Tuck was 4,936 dollars.


You should also be aware that different Plastic surgeons’ professional fees may cover different things. My fee covers your initial Consultation, up to 3 pre-operative visits, the cosmetic surgery professional fee and follow-up for 1 year after your surgery. Make sure you understand what your surgeon’s fee will pay for.


There is a large multi-factorial variation in Plastic Surgery prices. For your safety, stay away from both very low and high price extreme.


TWO IMPORTANT FACTS TO REMEMBER:
An overinflated price does NOT guarantee quality and an unreasonably bargain basement low price is never a bargain but frequently is a gamble on your safety and well-being.


Price extremes in Cosmetic Surgery are intentionally set to attract very 2 very different groups of people.


Extravagant Plastic Surgery prices are INTENDED to suck in 2 groups of people: the “label snobs”(those who either enjoy proving their worth by over-spending on everything) and those yearning to reach Hollywood’s supposed elite through Cosmetic Surgery (“I want a Facelift by Dr. X because he operated on startlet 1, starlet 2 and we think starlet 3…”). Ridiculous high prices (“If you need to ask – you can’t afford me” Plastic Surgery) are also meant to bring in those who do not want to do their research; The “If he charges so much, he MUST be good” school of thinking individuals. Many surgeons intentionally charge huge fees to over-inflate their attractiveness to these spend-happy individuals who assume that excellence must be expensive.


Extreme Plastic Surgery bargains are INTENDED to draw in 2 different groups of people: First, are individuals who cannot afford cosmetic surgery but are insistent on getting it anyway by focusing on bargain basement prices rather surgeon training and experience. The other group is the shoppers – We all know them. People who, regardless of their income, never met a bargain they could walk away from (The garage sale, Priceline.com centered, the coupon wallet carrying, “Is this your best price?” shopper).


When SHOPPING FOR A “DEAL” WHAT RED FLAGS SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR?


The TOTAL cost of Cosmetic Surgery is made up of 3 components; the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia charges and facility charges. There is no free lunch. Most of the time, you are getting what you pay for. An amazingly low fee usually means that one or more of these components has been compromised and that you are taking a risk. Cheap Plastic Surgery should raise safety concerns and each of these 3 components deserves your careful consideration.


- SURGEON’S FEE – The surgeon’s fee is based on geographic factors (with higher fees being common in major cities such as New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles etc) and on the experience of the surgeon doing the surgery (less experienced surgeons may charge a lot less). Finally, with the current state of the economy many surgeons lowered their fees.


Plastic Surgery is an expensive occupation. Quality Plastic Surgery graduate training is very competitive and hard to get into requiring an excellent academic record and years of hard work in medical school and preceding residencies. Plastic Surgery training is also the longest training in American Graduate Medical Education. Real Plastic surgeons accumulate a lot of debt during their long years of training. Moreover, the cost of running a Plastic Surgery office is higher than many other specialties. This financial burden is then added to a high pre-existing educational debt which must be paid off.


As a result, real board-certified and experienced Plastic surgeons (ASPS members) will usually charge more than wannabe doctors who are NOT certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). (These other “Plastic surgeons” are a large group made up of doctors who never formally trained in a Plastic surgery residency and who literally practice Plastic Surgery. (They have either certified in other specialties (such as gynecology, Family practice, ER Medicine, Internal Medicine etc) and may be certified by commercial non-American Board of Medical Specialties Boards-ABMS), or are practicing medicine illegally (either foreign unlicensed doctors or not doctors at all)). To FULLY understand the real meaning of Board Certification and who your doctor may really be, please follow the link below.


It is EASY to separate real Plastic surgeons from the others. Find out
1. Is he/she certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)?
2. Does he/she have unlimited Plastic Surgery privileges at one or more local hospital?
Not having hospital privileges in Plastic Surgery (i.e. being allowed to practice Plastic Surgery) in a local hospital is very worrisome and should raise many red flags. It may mean that for several reasons (such as deficient or improper training, past legal history or ethical issues) the hospital refused to expose itself to lawsuits by having your surgeon operate on its staff. You should seriously reconsider having your surgery with this physician.


- ANESTHESIA FEE – An inordinately cheap anesthesia fee should be another red flag. It means your anesthesia will be poor and/ or provided by an under- or poorly trained individual.
Your comfort and safety are important. For patient comfort and surgical accuracy, the vast majority of Plastic surgeons prefer to perform Tummy Tuck surgery under general anesthesia.


Generally speaking, Tummy Tuck anesthesia can be given by:
1. Your surgeon (cheapest, least effective - NOT a good idea). The vast majority of Plastic surgeons prefer doing Tummy Tuck surgery under general anesthesia because of its safety, accuracy and comfort of the patient. When a doctor performs his Tummy Tuck under local anesthesia in his office surgery room it usually means that local anesthesia may be the ONLY choice of anesthesia he can offer because of his training, board certification and issues in his past, he is not allowed to operate in a local hospital or surgery center.
By having surgery under such conditions, you will be subjecting yourself to a surgeon which the local hospital is not willing to risk exposing its patients to. Is this really a great deal? Think long and hard.
2. A nurse anesthetist (CRNA) – which must be supervised by a doctor. Or
3. Doctor (anesthesiologist).
Either of the other anesthesia choices is acceptable. Some people prefer the increased safety (and cost) of having a MD (anesthesiologist) providing their anesthesia.


- FACILITY (OPERATING ROOM) CHARGES – A really cheap facility should be another red flag. It may signify the room your procedure is done in is not equipped properly and may not adhere to national standards of safety and sterility. For your safety make sure YOUR operating room facility is either MEDICARE or AAAASF certified. These organizations perform inspections and demand high standards of safety and performance. However, maintaining and complying with such Federal and State regulations is expensive
 

While having surgery in a Medicare or AAAASF certified operating room is much safer than having your surgery done in a non-certified facility, this safety comes with a higher price tag. This increased safety comes at a price. Is YOUR safety and well being worth taking a risk for? Saving on?
 

Having Plastic Surgery is VERY much like flying a plane. Your safety depends on having an experienced, well trained pilot (i.e. a real Plastic surgeon), an experienced navigator (anesthesia provider) and flying (or having your surgery) in a well-maintained, inspected and cared for airplane (certified operating room facility).
In summary, do you REALLY know your pilot? Do you trust your plane? Choose wisely!


Now you know everything you should know when evaluating Plastic Surgery fees and charges.


Good Luck in your journey for self-improvement.


Dr. Peter Aldea


Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Price of tummy tuck - The price will vary depending on quality and safety measures

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Tummy tuck prices vary as do tummy tuck results.
A tummy tuck should
1) flatten the abdomen 
2) narrow the waist 
3) remove excess skin.
4) Create a beautiful new belly button that looks natural with no scars

I am consistently surprised some tummy tuck before and after photos that show a visible scar around the belly buttom, or an abdomen that looks flatter, but a waist that is not more narrow. Perhaps lower priced tummy tucks do not include attention to these details.  I have even heard of tummy tucks being performed without an MD anesthesiologist present. There are better ways to save money. 

A  tummy tuck is a big surgery and the results are permanent. Careful pre-operative planning including a plan for pain control with medication intra-operatively will help the recovery be much for comfortable. Craeful post-operative monitoring, that may include an overnight stay with care from nurses the night of surgery may also make recovery more comfortable for patients. 

Scars from a tummy tuck should be as low as possible. Low enough to be hidden in a bikini bottom, or hidden under the breast if a reverse - upper abdominoplasty is being performed. See examples of 40+ tummy tuck patients on my gallery (link below)

There is no "flat fee" for a tummy tuck since no two procedures are exactly alike. Beware of “price lists” offering cookie cutter surgery.

Cutting costs by cutting corners in a tummy tuck can result in unfavorable results or possibly serious complications.

After checking a surgeon’s background, training and experience look at before and after photos. Scars around the belly button are a dead giveaway of a tummy tuck. There should NOT be visible scars around the belly button. Fullness in the upper abdomen is a result that would not be the ideal for most patients. Plastic surgeons who are unable to create natural looking belly buttons, or who rush through surgery without addressing upper abdominal fullness may charge lower prices than plastic surgeons who have the training, ability and interest in providing the very best possible result.

Some physicians charge an additional fee for body garments, pain control devices (pain pumps) and even monitoring after surgery.

Select your plastic surgeon based on the quality of their work, their record of safety and not the price they charge for surgery.  The most expensive plastic surgeon is not always the best, but the lowest price is definitely not the best way to choose a plastic surgeon for a tummy tuck or any other surgical procedure.

The following are a few things that can distinguish some surgeons from others

1) Graduating from a top tier medical school at the top of their class.

2) Membership in Alpha Omega Alpha. THis is the medical honors society. Alpha Omega Alpha is to medicine what Phi Beta Kappa is to letters

3) Formal surgical training from prestigious medical universities. The minimum number of years of surgical training for plastic surgeons to be bord certified in five years. Some physicians have as many as ten years of formal surgical training. There simply is no substitute for stelar academic and practical surgical training.

4) Very experienced surgeons with meticulous surgical technique and natural looking outcomes will have photgraphic evidence of their work. Patients should be able to view many photos of the surgery of interest, photographed from three different perspectives all with similar lighting, distance from the camera and cropping

The elite experience extends beyond the surgeon to the facility, and the surgical team. You should be able to see the surgical theater and know who else will be in the OR with you during surgery. The Joint Commission (JCAHO) is an organization that provides certification to hospital OR's. The Joint Commission and AAAASF are two of the organizations that can provide certification to surgical suites. Some plastic surgeons elect to have their surgery centers dually certified.

The anesthesia experience is critical to a safe and comfortable surgical experience. A board certified anesthesiologist can administer general or MAC anesthesia. My preference is to have a board-certified anesthesiologist at the bedside of my patients for the duration of surgery.

Plastic surgeons who cater to high profile individuals who place a high value on privacy will have a private first floor entrance and exit so patients never need to be in a public lobby or elevator for pre-operative or post operative visits.

When searching for a plastic surgeon to ptovide a tummy tuck, do not compromise your safety or aesthetics with this procedure, that ideally, will be a once in a lifetime experience.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Tummy tuck prices.

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Thanks for your question.  Tummy tuck prices can vary all around the country.  Some geographic areas are simply more expensive than others.  Some surgeons charge more and some charge less.  Some surgeons price the surgery by your height and weight while others may use time in the operating room to give a reasonable estimate.  Full tummy tucks are generally more expensive than mini tummy tucks.  Tummy tucks for massive of weight loss can be more extensive and cost more.

In my own practice I publish pricing for average patients which I try to adhere to.  Some surgeries may take longer and some may take less but I find that quoting an average price is more comfortable for the patients.

I agree with others on this site that ultimately you should not choose your doctor by price, but choose based upon your confidence his or her level and experience.  Saving a few dollars will never make you happy if you've not chosen the right physician.

Cost of a tummy tuck

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Thanks for the question - In our San Francisco office most abdominoplasties cost between $6500 and $9500. This includes hospital and anesthesia fees.

I would encourage you to becareful in terms of "shopping" for plastic surgery based on price alone. Be sure you're dealing with a board certified plastic surgeon who is able to describe in detail the risks, benefits and alternatives to an abdominoplasty.

Remember, this is a serious surgery and nothing is more important than your health. I hope this helps.

Price of a Tummy Tuck

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Remember to make sure you are comparing apples to apples- many surgeons here are listing prices in the $4000 range, but remember that these costs are for the physician fee.  Make sure you ask what the total fee will be, including anesthesia, the surgery center, etc.  Often you will find that these costs may double the price from the physician.

At Montecito Plastic surgery, a standard abdominoplasty costs $7450, and this includes the surgeon's fee, the consultations, the anesthesia, the operating room and surgery center fees, and all postoperative care.

How much does a tummy tuck cost?

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 The price for a tummy tuck can vary from patient to patient depending on how extensive the surgery is.  The range is usually between 9K – 15K.  The most important questions to ask upon receiving your quote are to confirm that the facility, anesthesia and follow up visits are included and there are no hidden costs that may pop up later. 
 

In Manhattan, your total expense will be at least $10,000.

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Hi!

This includes operating room costs, anesthesia, and recovery.  Beware of a lower fee.  They are cutting corners.

For people who cannot afford this, I recommend a teaching hospital clinic (I teach at Lenox Hill Hospital), where the surgery is done by residents in training with supervision.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

The Average Surgeon Charge for Tummy Tuck is $5,278

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When cosmetic surgery is performed, the overall cost is normally divided in a few different components. For a tummy tuck, there is a charge for the surgeon to perform the operation, there is another charge to use the operating room facility, and a third charge for the anesthesiologist. Nationwide, the average surgeon charge for a tummy tuck is $5,278. This however, does not include the use of the operating facility and the anesthesiologist. The cost for a tummy tuck varies across the country. An overall package price for an abdominoplasty could run anywhere from $4,800 to $15,000.
When considering any type of cosmetic surgery, it is very important to not only research the background of the doctor performing it but to also research the accreditation of the facility in which the operation is to be performed. It is important to know that the facility is properly accredited and licensed for the type of procedure being offered there.  It is also important to know the background of the anesthesiologist. Some facilities utilize nurse anesthetists and other facilities utilize M.D. anesthesiologists.
  Overall prices for a tummy tuck can vary anywhere between $4,800 to over $15,000. When considering any type of surgical procedure it is important to know exactly what you are getting for your money.

My simple and illustrated video may help you--learn more about tummy tucks and other body contouring procedures.

How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?

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How much does a tummy tuck cost.

The cost depends on what the patient needs and how much time is required.  When I do a tummy tuck I do what I think helps to get the best and longest-lasting results for my patients. In my practice a tummy tuck that takes between 4.5 and 7.5 hours of operating room time, depending on what is done is in the broad range of  11-15,000. But I am sure you can also find a tummy tuck for 7-9,000 in some areas, and more in others. If  breast surgery is part of the procedure, it will cost more. Each patient is individualized according to their needs. These costs are inclusive of my fee, anesthesia, facility charges, Exparel, Prineo dermabond, Cosmetassure insurance, and follow-up care.

This is what is involved in a tummy tuck.

If the patient has extra thickness of fat of the abdomen and waist or flanks, the tummy tuck starts with infiltration of all these tissue layers with tumescent salt solution followed by treatment with vaser ultrasonic liposuction.

I do not consider a patient with excess fat of the abdomen or waist to have had a proper tummy tuck without treating all these areas. At the end of the procedure I want the patient to have a sculpted, natural look. I try to bring out the underlying shape of the waist and hips.

I find the best results come from tailoring the flap to the exact amount of skin to be removed. Therefore I do not predetermine where the upper incision for skin removal will  be until all the other work is completed.

All tummy tucks are individualized, but all include careful elevation of the upper abdominal flap in a way that preserves the maximum blood supply to the skin that must join the lower incision. This is usually referred to as a tunnel from belly button to lower tip of breast bone. Undermining is limited to just the width needed to bring the rectus muscle together. Some doctors undermine all the way up to the rib margin and lose this blood supply. This takes less time but makes it easier to bring the flap down for closure without having to use other techniques such as discontinuous undermining and more flexing of the table to relieve tension.

If there is any excess fat after remaining after elevating the upper flap, it is carefully trimmed at the appropriate level from below. The margins of the flap, particularly laterally, are carefully tapered and trimmed to fit nicely with the thinner skin of the anterior thigh and hip below the incision. If not already removed, the lower abdominal skin is then removed.

Exparel, long-acting bupivicaine anesthetic is then injected under the rectus and external oblique fascia. It gives a slow release of anesthetic over a three day period, and makes my patients much more comfortable in the recovery room and during the next day or two. Although it does not relieve all pain, it reduces the amount of pain and the need for narcotic pain medication after surgery.

The next step is a multiple-layer closure of the rectus muscle in the midline. This is done along the entire length of the rectus, not just above and below the belly button. I prefer multiple figure-of-eight sutures of permanent suture, followed by a double row of slowly dissolving Quill sutures. I take care to go all the way up, and all the way down to the pubic bone to avoid unsightly bulges in the upper and/or lower abdomen. I sit the patient up to see if  there are any areas of bulging or laxity that would be hidden with the patient lying down. This helps prevent surprises later when an upper or lower abdominal bulge could become apparent.

I next trim the flap to precisely fit the lower incision without dog ears. I use the Lockwood flap marker to ensure that no extra skin is left behind.

I then determine the umbilical location with the flap temporarily closed with atraumatic clamps to set the tension properly before measuring where to place the belly button. I always place the umbilicus at a distance from the pubic incision that is normal, depending on patient height and pre-existing height of their belly button. Nothing is more unattractive than a high incision and a low belly button relative to the incision.

The most attractive belly button appears to be vertical with a hood, according to patient surveys. When the opening is made to receive the belly button, a small flap is left superiorly to have enough skin to fold over and make a hood. Also when the belly button is outlined at the beginning of the procedure, it is left 3 cm in length to make sure there is enough tissue present to get some depth.

The elevated abdominal skin is re-connected to the abdominal wall with progressive tension sutures above the belly button and special Quill quilting sutures. This is a recent technological innovation that allows the skin to be progressively snugged up, top to bottom, without needing individual sutures or knots. The entire open space of flap elevation is closed off. This means no drains are necessary and none are used. I have used a drainless technique for many years and have not had any seroma problems.

The incision closure takes up to an hour and is done to last a lifetime and minimize the chance of any unfavorable scarring. My goal is to have  a secure closure that will heal as a fine pencil line after the redness fades. There are two separate suture layers. The deeper layer is a slowly dissolving Quill suture that grasps the deep layer of the flap that can hold tension without having tension on the skin surface. The edges of the incision are brought together in such a way that when the superficial layer is closed with a finer absorbable suture, the appearance is of a little hill. This means that at the skin level there is no tension. As the tissues relax over the next two months, the hill becomes flat and the scar has the best chance to heal as a fine line. 

First, the central two-thirds are closed with a deep layer vertical running suture placed close enough together that a finger cannot be placed between them. This creates the high-lateral tension that distributes the tension more to the groin area than the midline. This decreases the possibility that there will be any excess tension in the pubic area that can lead to wound healing problems or unnatural elevation of the mons. The closure is very secure and allows a sleek distribution of tension across the front of the thigh to the abdomen. This gives a lift to the anterior thigh as well, eliminating pre-operative sagginess. The suture continues to the end in horizontal fashion as the flaps are thinner laterally.

The outer layer is a Quill suture that brings together the skin edges so they are just kissing. Since there is now no tension now on the layer of the skin that forms the visible scar, the most favorable conditions have been created for a hairline, flat scar. This final layer is a dissolving absorbable suture that brings the skin together as finely as in a facelift.

The belly button closure is finalized by a deep layer of dermal sutures for strength and multiple individual half-buried mattress sutures of nylon that very precisely line up the umbilical skin with the abdominal skin with no sutures passing through the abdominal skin side and all knots on the belly button side. These sutures can be left in for two weeks for excellent healing without leaving any visible suture marks.

I cover the incision with a layer of Prineo dermabond tape. This is a flexible woven tape that is covered with a polymer adhesive. It is removed at three weeks. Some gauze and a Topifoam sponge is applied and held in place with a binder. The abdomen and flanks are covered with Topifoam sponge which greatly reduces bruising in any place where there has been liposuction. There are no pain pump or other catheters because we have used Exparel for local anesthetic pain control, and no suction drains are needed since we have closed off the space with quilting sutures.

As you can see, the tummy tuck described above is a technical and refined operation. It deserves the time required in my hands to achieve the goal that patients want: a youthful, slim figure, a low, hidden incision, an attractive belly button, no drains and removal of excess fat.

Cost of Tummy tuck in Atlanta

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The cost of tummy tuck varies based on the region of the country, extend of your surgery, and the cost of any additional surgery. At Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, our all inclusive fees range from $4500 to $12,000 depending on the extend of surgery. The average cost of tummy tuck is $6000.

The cost include the following:
• Surgeon’s fee
• Hospital or surgical facility costs
• Anesthesia fees
• Lab test
• 2 Post-surgery garments

To make surgery affordable for you, we offer many financing plans. Most health insurance plans will not cover cosmetic tummy tuck surgery, related complications or another surgery to revise the appearance of your body.

We also offer Cosmetassure to all of our patients. CosmetAssure is an affordable insurance for elective surgery to mitigate financial burden in the unlikely event of a complication arising after elective aesthetic surgery.

The best way to know the actual cost of your tummy tuck is to consult a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons.

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.