Is It Better to Get a Tummy Tuck Done in a Hospital or a Surgery Clinic?

I hear that PS do TT procedures in a hospital or a surgery clinic. If they do their procedures in a surgery clinic, can I request to have my procedure done in a hospital? What is the difference and what is the most common?

Doctor Answers 25

Surgical facility for a tummy tuck.

The surgery should be performed in an accredited surgical facility. Depending on the state, this can be a hospital, a stand-alone surgical center, or even an in-office surgical suite. If you wish to have your surgery in the hospital, I don't see any reason why it could not be performed there unless your surgeon does not have privileges. The key is to be sure that:

  1. The facility is accredited by the state for surgical procedures
  2. Your plastic surgeon is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

I've included a link so that you can check the certification of your surgeon online.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Location for Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question.

Both hospitals and  fully accredited outpatient surgery centers  are appropriate locations to  undergo your tummy tuck procedure.  Of even more  importance, is your selection of surgeon. Some  words of advice in this regard....

Anyone considering plastic or reconstructive surgery should consider consulting a board certified plastic surgeon to achieve the best and safest results possible. Physicians who are considered board certified hold a certification with the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This certification proves that the surgeon has graduated from an accredited medical school, has completed a residency of at least five years, has three years of experience in general surgery, is actively practicing plastic surgery for at least two years, and has passed mandatory comprehensive and written examinations. These surgeons are referred to as diplomats of the ABPS and have fulfilled the following requirements.  

It is in the patient’s best interest to choose a board certified plastic surgeon. It is vital to your safety and the success of your cosmetic surgery that the surgeon you choose has the right qualifications, ample experience, and documented results of his or her work. ABPS diplomats have extensive skill and experience in a wide range of plastic surgery procedures.

There are a number of advantages in choosing a qualified and highly experienced Board Certified plastic surgeon to perform your cosmetic surgery. If there are any complications during surgery, an experienced plastic surgeon will be more adept at handling the situation. In addition, a plastic surgeon that has performed many cosmetic surgeries will have had more time to perfect his or her technique and results.

Reputable plastic surgeons should have privileges to perform cosmetic surgery procedures in the operating room at an accredited hospital, not just in the surgery center in their office. They work with a highly skilled team including, board certified anesthesiologists, nurses, and technicians to enhance patient comfort and to provide a peace of mind to the patient’s and their families.

During your consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, ask to see before and after photos of actual patients who have undergone cosmetic surgery. The surgeon may provide you with a list of patients you may speak to as a reference for the doctor. To enhance your education regarding the surgeon, you may be introduced to some post-op patients as well during your visit with the surgeon. Most patients are willing to share their experience regarding their surgeon, the staff, hospital, and recovery. 

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Tummy Tuck

I have performed tummy tucks in hospitals and in my own surgical center. I prefer my own center with my own staff, my own equipment, overnight care, and a very private entrance. It is important to be certain a center is fully accredited and that anesthesia is administered by a board certified anesthesiologist.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Experience of your surgeon not location of surgery is the most important factor for your tummy tuck

Thank you for your question. Tummy tuck can be safely performed in a major hospital or in a fully accredited outpatient surgery center.

The most important factor is the skill and experience of your plastic surgeon.

Tummy Tuck - Is It Better to Get a Tummy Tuck Done in a Hospital or a Surgery Clinic?

Where a tummy tuck (or any other procedure) is performed depends on many factors.  Some surgeons perform all or most of their procedures in a hospital, some in a freestanding outpatient surgery facility, some in an in-office surgical facility, and some surgeons perform procedures in several different locales.  Assuming that each is accredited appropriately, there is no overall advantage or disadvantage with any of the choices.  Each has its own set of pluses and minuses.  Often the availability of each type of facility determines which is being used, but I don't know of a way to generalize that regionally or any other way.

If you have a preference you should discuss that with your surgeon, and then make a decision based on what he or she says.  I don't necessarily feel that that should be final determining factor - I think it's more important that you're comfortable with your surgeon and what is being planned - but that is your call.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Surgical center vs hospital for tummy tuck

The surgery should be performed by a board certified plastic surgeon in a certified facility. Both hospitals and outpatient surgery centers can provide excellent care for abdominoplasty surgery. However, outpatient surgery centers typically are more personal and private.

Donna Rich, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

I prefer a Surgery Center.

As many of my colleagues have said, it has to be appropriately accredited and safe.

But assuming that it is, there are many advantages to a Surgery Center. It is usually less expensive. It is more personal and private, and more likely to cater to the needs of someone having cosmetic surgery. The staff are more understanding and caring generally. Also Surgery Centers are geared to sending their clients home, and the type of anesthesia that is used makes this easier.

The surgeon may need to make some special arrangements. For example I like to make a house call on the day after surgery for Tummy Tucks. If patients live too far they stay overnight in a nearby hotel.

Good luck

Rodney A. Green, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Abdominoplasty best surgery center

This procedure is done as an outpatient operation by most surgeons. Overnight care is fine but generally not needed.

The surgicenter should be appropriately certified, medicare, state certified , AAASF ,etc.

Check on the anaesthesiologists and other doctors who work there.

hospital outpatient or inpatient is fine as well

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Better to Get a Tummy Tuck Done in a Hospital or a Surgery Clinic?

Good Question. Let's paraphrase it; Is it safer to drive in a GMC Yukon or Denali VS a Yugo or Mini Cooper? Is is safer to fly in a Boeing 767 or a single engine Cessna?

All Plastic surgeons who are members of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS  wwwplasticsurgeryorg) have signed a pledge that in the interest of their patients' safety they will only operate in Medicare or AAAASF certified surgery facilities. These certifications assure not only the cleanliness but also the availability of emergency mechanisms such as defibrillator, drugs to resuscitate patients when the heart slows or stops, when the power supply fails etc.  IF the "surgery Clinic" is Medicare or AAAASF it WOULD be as safe to go to for most cases but if you have a medical history which may put you at a higher risk, I would suggest that having your surgery in a hospital-based outpatient surgical suite may be safer. In other words, in those cases I would suggest you be driven in the Denali not the mini Cooper.

One last cautionary item - MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE your surgeon is authorized to do Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Surgery in one of the local hospitals EVEN IF he usually does them in his office. Not having formal Plastic Surgery Privileges in a local hospital is a violation of membership in The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and may indicate that he is not really certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and as such none of the hospitals would risk losing a huge malpractice suit by allowing him (with his board certification in Dermatology, Family Practice, Ear Nose and Throat, or Ob-Gyn) to "practice" Plastic Surgery within their facilities.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Question regarding tummy tuck in an outpatient center versus a hospital

Your tummy tuck should be performed in a surgically accredited facility which may either be an outpatient center or a hospital. Generally, outpatient surical centers are more geared to treating patients undergoing cosmetic procedures and your overall experiences will consequently be much more pleasant and appropriate. In addition, usually the costs in such facilities are signficantly lower than those you would pay in a hospital.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 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.