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Is $10,000 too much to pay for a tummy tuck?

Q:

I was recently quoted a price of $10K for a tummy tuck. This is strictly the surgeon's fee - cost for surgery center and anesthetics are additional.  Is this the norm?  I note that the national average is about $5 to $6K.  Please advise.

A:

Tummy Tuck can be in the range of $8-10K, total cost. depending on the area.

S.F. Shureih, MD

A:

A tummy tuck is not a minor procedure. Many plastic surgeons combine liposuction with the abdominoplasty in what is called a Lipo-Abdominoplasty. Often critical pathways of care are required to decrease complications in the peri-operative period with Tummy Tucks. Many practioners will even monitor you overnight and utilize drugs to prevent Deep Venous Thrombosis/Pulmonary Emboli. My point? Be more concerned about your safety than the price of the procedure. At our facility the package price for a Lipo-Abdominoplasty with an overnight observation starts at $8,000.

Best,

Gary R. Culbertson, MD

A:

There is no one price 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 and even monitoring after surgery. Select your plastic surgeon based on the quality of their work, 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.

M.M. Law, MD

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