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My doctor says that a tummy tuck will cost me $10K - is this normal?

Q:

My doctor says that a tummy tuck will cost me $10,000.  Is this normal?

A:

The cost of a tummy tuck can vary widely across the USA. The cost you are quoting most likely includes other facets involved with the procedure such as facility fees, anesthesia fees, nursing services, lab tests, overnight stays, etc. besides just the surgeon's fee. Many ASAPS plastic surgeons offer such package prices for these procedures. This normally gives the patient a significant discount in health care costs as compared to having the procedure done at hospital with no insurance. For example, the costs quoted by one of our local hospitals for a Tummy Tuck with an overnight stay was over $16,000. This did not include the patient's medications, anesthesia costs or even the surgeon's fee. Package pricing at our facility for Lipo-Abdominoplasty begins at $7,500 and goes up depending upon the extent/time required to perform the procedures. This does not include the costs of peri-operative prescription medications, but does include most of the other service related fees.

Consider a consult with one of the many members of the ASAPS regarding your Tummy Tuck and costs associated with the procedure. Many offer package pricing that could save you money.

Best,

Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

A:

As mentioned prevously the costs vary a lot. When done in a hospital, the cost is very expensive. In our operating room with a board certified anesthesiologist, nurse and operating tech, fully accredited facilty, the cost can be about $8,000 for the total cost.

If you go out of town then consider that you will stay in a hotel and need an adult with you or a nurse with you and that is another cost you need to consider. So a $10,000 total cost is reasonable.

S.F. Sureih, MD

A:

As noted by Dr. Culbertson, the cost varies considerably across the country. In Tucson, you are probably looking at mid $6,000 range for an abdominoplasty with epigastric (upper abdomen) lipousction. The tummy tuck without liposuction is probably in the low $5,000 range in Tucson.

T.C. Case, 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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