After all fees have been combined, the average cost of a tummy tuck is about $8,600, although the surgery can range anywhere from $7,000 – $17,000. On average, the final cost of a mini tummy tuck is about $7,200. This article will explain the different factors that affect final cost.
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat while restoring weakened, damaged, or separated muscles to give one a flatter abdomen and a smoother profile. Tummy tucks are designed to treat sagging skin or lingering fat deposits that lead to a protruding abdomen. These indications are commonly the result of a recent pregnancy, hereditary factors, aging, major body weight fluctuations, and prior surgery. Tummy tucks are a commonly performed type of plastic surgery, and have demonstrated generally high rates of success.
Dr. Michael Bogdan Talks About Tummy Tuck Surgery
Before pursuing such a procedure, however, it’s important to become well informed regarding the overall costs associated with it. The costs of a tummy tuck can be broken down into four main components:
- Surgeon’s fees
- Anesthesia fees
- Facility fees
- Miscellaneous fees, which can include diagnostic tests, postoperative recovery garments, and medications.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fee for a tummy tuck is just over $5,000. Because this is only the average, there will be surgeons who charge significantly more or less than this, but either way, it works as a nice starting place to begin calculating tummy tuck costs.
There are three main factors that determine how much a tummy tuck will cost:
- The intensity of the tummy tuck being performed – The more tissue that needs to be removed, the more invasive and intense the surgery will be, and the more it will cost. Because this aspect of a tummy tuck is so dependent on your unique case, you will need to consult your cosmetic surgeon to receive a detailed and individually tailored surgeon’s fee cost estimate.
- The surgeon’s skill, experience, and level of certification maintained by the cosmetic surgeon – Doctors with less experience and lower levels of certification are likely to charge lower surgeon’s fees, but there is no concrete way to gauge their skill or level of training. On the other hand, surgeons who have been performing successful tummy tucks for several years, and who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, will charge higher surgeon’s fees, but are more likely to perform effective operations with a lower chance of complications.
- Location – All plastic surgery prices will be higher in popular plastic surgery areas, such as Beverly Hills or Orange County, CA. In small towns where plastic surgery is less common, prices will generally be cheaper. However, some would argue that these the experience of these doctors is worth paying the higher price, but it really just a matter of opinion and comes down to the individual surgeon.
As you consider which surgeon to work with, be sure to inquire about each surgeon’s level of certification and training. To practice plastic surgery in the United States, all cosmetic surgeons must be licensed by the state in which they work. While this helps establish a minimum threshold of healthcare quality, this state‐by-state licensing system doesn’t necessarily indicate a surgeon’s full depth of knowledge and hands‐on experience.
For this reason, many surgeons choose to become certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. To do this, a doctor must be licensed by the state in which they work, but they must also study for and pass a rigorous set of specialized exams administered by the Board. Additionally, Board‐certified cosmetic surgeons are required to remain informed about current, up‐to‐date studies and surgical techniques, and must continue passing regularly administered tests if they wish to maintain their Board certification. Although board‐certified doctors will usually be more expensive, the additional certification typically indicates a higher level of education and up‐to‐date training than in doctors who are not Board‐certified. Whether or not you insist on choosing a board certified surgeon is ultimately up to you and your unique combination of body image goals and financial restrictions. In general, you can expect lower‐end surgeon’s fees to be somewhere around $4,000 with upper‐end fees costing as much as $7,000.
Anesthesia fees don’t have as large a range of variability as surgeon’s fees do, but there are still some important factors that affect their final cost. The most important factor determining anesthesia fees is the invasiveness of the surgery being performed. If your tummy tuck requires the removal of a large amount of excess tissue, then the operation will last longer and be more invasive. This requires a more intense form of anesthesia, and will therefore increase the anesthesia fees. In general, anesthesia fees range between $425 and $1,800.
Facility fees can cost as little as $1,200 if the tummy tuck is performed in your cosmetic surgeon’s office, or as much as $10,000 if it’s performed in a hospital and requires an overnight stay.
Office‐based operations are clearly more affordable, but before you choose this option, make sure you’re comfortable with the level of safety maintained at each surgical office. Hospitals must adhere to strict health and safety codes, and this accounts for much of the associated costs of receiving surgery in a hospital. Recently, the cosmetic surgery industry has begun to adopt similar regulations that help ensure patient safety and a high quality of care, while still maintaining lower facility fees.
The American Association of Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), in conjunction with several other healthcare and plastic surgery organizations, now requires that cosmetic surgeons performing outpatient surgeries in their offices maintain the same privileges and levels of accreditation required in hospitals. Be sure to inquire whether or not your cosmetic surgeon maintains proper AAAASF certification before committing to an office‐based operation.
The various miscellaneous fees associated with a tummy tuck are often not included in your initial consultation and cost estimate, so these are especially important to be aware of. In general, miscellaneous fees pay for any preoperative testing that must be done in order to determine your candidacy for a tummy tuck operation. These tests usually cost around $500.
Postoperatively, you should plan on paying for compression garments or other forms of incision dressing, as well as medications such as painkillers, which can cost as much as $350. Combined, these miscellaneous fees will cost between $350 and $1,000, depending on the amount of preoperative tests you must undergo and the intensity of your recovery period.
Mini Tummy Tuck
Along with the four main cost components, the precise type of operation you receive plays a significant role in the final cost of your tummy tuck.
If you experience only small amounts of fat or excess skin, you may only require a mini tummy tuck. Mini tummy tucks require smaller incisions along the bikini line, making for a less invasive operation. On average, they cost $7,200 all inclusive.
Similarly, some patients may require a tummy tuck operation in conjunction with other procedures, all of which will likely increase the operation’s final cost. When large amounts of fat must be removed, liposuction may be used in addition to a tummy tuck. Some patients may require abdominal etching—in which advanced liposuction techniques are used to create or enhance the appearance of abdominal muscles—in addition to the regular tummy tuck operation. Abdominal etching typically costs between $3,000 and $10,000. Finally, it is fairly common for women to receive a tummy tuck as part of a more comprehensive mommy makeover. These operations include a breast lift and breast augmentation in addition to abdominoplasty, and can vary greatly in cost, ranging anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000.
Insurance And Patient Financing
Unless tummy tucks are being performed in order to address pressing health risks, or to help repair damage from a previous surgery or injury, they’re usually considered elective procedures. If your tummy tuck is elective, most healthcare insurance plans will not cover the cost of the operation.
There are three ways to pay for a tummy tuck procedure out‐of‐pocket:
- Pay for the entire procedure upfront
- Set up an installment payment system through your cosmetic surgeon’s inhouse financial program
- Work with a third‐party medical financing company
Monthly payments for the latter two options vary depending on the final cost of the procedure, the length of time over which the payments will be made, and your credit rating.
One final consideration to think about while planning your tummy tuck is the possibility of receiving plastic surgery abroad. There are many countries in which cosmetic surgeries are performed successfully and safely. Often, these countries do not have the same types of regulations and insurance fees that lead to expensive healthcare costs in the United States. In these countries, you may be able to afford the top level of care available for a lower cost than you would in the United States. The key to making this alternative work is to conduct extensive research into each individual cosmetic surgeon you may work with. Be sure to ask about the quality of operations the surgeon performs, the surgeon’s background and training credentials, and all other relevant health and safety concerns. And at the end of the day, if you are not 100% confident with the doctor, just pay more to get it done domestically. Never risk your health to save a few bucks.
Tummy tucks often prove to be extremely beneficial operations for many patients. If you are considering a tummy tuck, be sure to take into account all the various fees associated with the procedure before working with your cosmetic surgeon to calculate a final cost estimate. Whatever your final decision, be sure your cosmetic surgeon meets your health, safety, and financial requirements.