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 276

How MUCH is a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

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.

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, centered, the coupon wallet carrying, “Is this your best price?” shopper).


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
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

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

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.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?

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 rom 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, 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.

If I am confident that all the lower abdominal skin can be removed, including the hole where the belly button was freed, I make my incision initially above the belly button and join it to the lower incision.  Then I elevate the upper flap and leave the lower skin to be removed afterward to preserve body heat.

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.

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.

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. Otherwise there will be little improvement of the waist. 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 next trim the flap to precisely fit the lower incision without dog ears. I often 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, at least 10-13 cm 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.

Sutures are placed between the opening for the belly button and the abdominal wall adjacent to the belly button after removing fat around the opening. Doing this creates a youthful valley in which to place the belly button.  The sutures are tightened and tied after the next step of re-attaching the flap to the abdominal wall. The belly button is tailored, according to patient preference, to be vertical, small and not show too much old belly button skin. That skin often has a different color, or is wrinkled.

The pain pump catheters are placed, if the patient has chosen to have a pain pump. A single drain may be placed.

The elevated abdominal skin is re-connected to the abdominal wall with 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 allows rapid removal of the drain, if used, and decreases any risk of fluid collection or seroma.

The incision closure takes about two hours and is done to last a lifetime and minimize the chance of any unfavorable scarring. My goal is to have such a secure closure that the scar will heal as a fine pencil line after the redness fades. There are three or four separate suture layers. The deepest layer is permanent and the others are absorbable. Scar maturation takes a long time, and the longest-dissolving absorbable sutures have long lost their tensile strength before the scar has reached its maximum strength and matured.

First, the central two-thirds are closed with a deep layer of permanent suture placed close enough together as individual sutures 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 next layer is a slowly-dissolving Quill suture that brings together the subcutaneous tissue and covers the permanent sutures. In a very thin patient, this layer may also serve as the subdermal layer closure. This is followed by another Quill suture that brings together the dermal-epidermal layer 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. The final layer is a rapidly dissolving layer of 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 usually cover the incision with a layer of Dermabond. This is a biocompatible tissue adhesive for incision coverage. It gradually comes off over 2-3 weeks. There are no other dressings required. The abdomen and flanks are covered with Topifoam sponge which greatly reduces bruising in any place where there has been liposuction, and a non-constricting binder is placed. A Velcro belt with a drain pouch is provided if a drain has been used. The pain pump has its own carrier.

As you can see, the tummy tuck described above is a highly technical and refined operation. It deserves the time required in my hands to achieve the goal that patients want: a youthful, slim figure.

Robert M. Lowen, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Cost of Tummy Tuck

The cost of tummy tucks has a huge range depending on the region and your surgeon. 

You should consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine your exact needs for your particular body and the potential results you can expect. You can learn more about the different types of procedures and recovery at the below web reference for a tummy tuck.

Ankit Desai, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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

Tummy tuck prices vary as do tummy tuck results. I have attached a link to my tummy tuck gallery of 40+ patients with all kinds of tummy tucks from full tummy tucks to reverse upper abdonimoplasty surgeries. 

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

The cost a tummy tuck depends on sevaral factors.

Thank you for the question.

There are many types of tummy tucks each taking different amounts of time.  A full tummy tuck is much more involved compared to a mini-tummy tuck.  Some patients also need alot of liposuction in conjunction with the abdominoplasty.  A full consultation is necessary to determine the exact cost.  The cost ranges from $7500-9000.


Best of Luck,

Dr. Kasrai

How much does a tummy tuck cost?

 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. 

Tummy tuck prices.

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.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Tummy tuck cost

Tummy tucks range from $5000 to $9000. It depends on the extent of surgery and the time involved. I would not shop based on price. This is a serious procedure and you don't want the K-mart of plastic surgery. On the other hand the most expensive surgeon, is not necessarily the best. You should be fully evaluated by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Look for the American Board of Plastic Surgery certification. Check his/her before and after photos of his/her actual patients.

Jack Gelman, MD
Frankfort Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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


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
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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.