Training Hospital to Help Cut Costs of Tummy Tuck?

Several doctors have stated that for a more of a cheaper rate to maybe go to a teaching hospital. Does any of the doctors in St. Louis know where I can go and who to contact? Thank you for all your answers! Very much appreciate it! I've been so devistated by this.

Doctor Answers 7

Training Hospital to Help Cut Costs of Tummy Tuck?

There are two medical schools in ST Louis--Washington University and St Louis University. Call their plastic surgery departments. 

It used to be quite common to find lower rates at teaching hospitals, but that is not often the case. Some hospitals charge operating room fees in the neighborhood of $4000 and hour, compared to less than $1000 an hour at surgicenters. Even with no professional fee, the discount may disappear in minutes. Thanks, all the best. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Teaching hospitals may offer a discount?

Some teaching hospitals who have plastic surgery training programs may offer some of a discount on aesthetic surgical procedures.  This is certainly going to vary from place to place around the country.  Twenty years ago it was not an uncommon practice, today it is less common.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Teaching hospital for price sensitivity

Barnes is the flagship hospital in St Louis and has an excellent plastic surgery department. Keep in mind that the hospitals, which used to offer teaching cases for a song, have wised up and are now charging real $. Because the operating costs are higher than in a surgicenter, on occasion there may not be a big enough price break over a reasonably priced board certified plastic surgeon in his own facility so it is advisable to see several surgeons to get a sense of the range in your area.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Training hospitals do cut costs of surgery. A resident in training is the surgeon.

Thank you for your post.
In considering the cost of a Tummy Tuck, you should look at the components of the cost:
1. Surgeons Fee. This is usually the greatest part of the overall cost and can vary immensly from location to location (just like the cost of living varies in each location) as well as in the same location, it can vary from surgeon to surgeon. Usually, a surgeon commanding a higher price is very experienced and has very good results reliably, and is very busy due to the above. This also depends on if a circumferential, tummy tuck, extended tummy tuck, full tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck, and skin only tummy tuck is performed. These are usually less expensive in decreasing order.
2. Anesthesia Fee. This can vary depending on if a board certified MD anesthesiologist is used, vs. a nurse anesthetist, vs. a non-certified nurse, vs. only local anesthesia (an awake procedure). Obviously, the further you go down the line, the cheaper the price. You do get what you pay for.
3. Facility Fee. This can vary if it is a a state/medicare certified facility, vs. the back of a doc's office.
4. Accessories. This includes things like a pain pump, Exparol injections (72 hour long lasting numbing), garments, tissue glues, etc. These are not necessary for a great result, just add to the comfort of a result.
5. Revision. Usually a revision such as dog ears or lowering the scar, or a seroma, is much less that the original surgery, but this depends entirely on what exactly is being done.
6. Add on surgeries are usually discounted, as in a mommy makeover.
7. Insurance. If an insurance based surgery, such as a hernia repair is done at the same time, the tummy tuck may be discounted.
As with anything in life, buyer beware of risks of cutting corners in surgery.
Real Self has average costs of every operations in your location that you can peruse before seeing a surgeon, but keep in mind that the above quality can change from office to office. Choose a surgeon that you are very comfortable with and is board certified.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Training Hospital and Discounts on Cosmetic Surgery

  Barnes is a good choice in the area.  You should contact the plastic surgery department.  Ask them about a chief resident's cosmetic clinic.  They may have one, although I do not know for sure.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Tummy tuck

Teaching hospitals are charging the same or more for these procedures. A plastic surgeon with their own operating facility can beat any hospital with facility fees  

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Teaching hospitals might work

Teaching hospitals can sometimes offer a cost savings benefit. Typically, a staff surgeon (board certified plastic surgeon) will take a resident surgeon through the case. The degree of participation of the resident tends to be up to the staff surgeon. For example, during my training, the staff surgeon would offer a significant discount if the patient would agree to have the resident perform the majority of the case. However, other staff members wouldn't offer any discount feeling that it was all part of a teaching hospital. Ask if there is any significant difference. Good luck.

Michael Burgdorf, MD, MPH
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 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.