Tummy Tuck Cost: What You’ll Pay and Is It Worth It?

Surgeries

How Much Does A Tummy Tuck Cost?

As with any cosmetic surgery procedure, there are a few factors that go into a surgeon’s tummy tuck cost. There is no single “cost” for a tummy tuck due the number of variables that go into formulating surgical fees. A good way to think about these different variables are to separate patient factors and surgeon factors:

Patient Factors Affecting Tummy Tuck Cost

  • is a full tummy tuck needed or will a mini tummy tuck be sufficient?
  • is supplemental liposuction necessary?
  • is muscle tightening required?
  • is a vertical incision (“fleur-de-lis”) required?
  • is an overnight stay at the surgical facility and/or home nursing care required?

LARGER BODY TYPES AND CASES NEEDING LIPOSUCTION AND/OR MUSCLE TIGHTENING WILL COST MORE

Surgeon Factors Affecting Tummy Tuck Cost

  • location: big-city surgeons may charge more than those in suburban areas due to higher overhead costs
  • experience: surgeons somewhat earlier in their careers will often charge less in order to build up their practice volumes
  • popularity/reputation: bigger names charge bigger fees
  • higher-end facilities will often charge higher fees but may provide a more posh overall experience

Tummy Tuck Cost Near Me: Why Location Matters?

Costs for surgical services tend to line up with overall cost of living expenses for a given geographic location. A cosmetic surgeon in a high cost of living center such as New York City will face substantially higher office rent fees, property taxes, utility fees, employee salaries, etc. compared to a counterpart based in a city with more modest cost of living expenses. All of this translates into a higher total overhead cost in geographic areas with a higher cost of living. These costs get “baked in” to the total surgical fee charged to the patient. Looking for a tummy tuck near where you live may not always be your most economical option.

A look at the typical tummy tuck cost range in San Francisco (amongst the most expensive cities in the USA) versus Pittsburgh (mid-range cost of living) and El Paso, Texas (lower cost of living) illustrates this point fairly clearly:

tummy tuck price higher end of spectrum
San Francisco, California Tummy Tuck Cost Ranges from $6,645 to $20,763+
(credit: Healthcare Bluebook)
tummy tuck price middle of spectrum
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Tummy Tuck Cost Ranges From $6,133 to $19,161+
(credit: Healthcare Bluebook)
Tummy tuck prices lower end of spectrum
El Paso, Texas Tummy Tuck Cost Ranges From $4,872 to $15,223+
(credit: Healthcare Bluebook)

The same principles will also apply to most other countries such as Canada. Travel costs need to be factored into your overall budget if you’re considering looking outside the area you live in to reduce your overall tummy tuck cost. If traveling and lodging costs are minimal, it may well be worth it to consider surgeons in less expensive locations to save on your overall tummy tuck cost.

POPULAR SURGEONS IN BIG CITIES USUALLY HAVE HIGHER TUMMY TUCK COSTS

Is A Tummy Tuck Worth It?

Tummy tuck surgery can have a major positive impact on an individual’s physical and emotional well-being. That’s why it’s amongst the most popular cosmetic surgeries performed worldwide. A study published in the prestigious medical journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery looked into the question of whether most patients felt that their tummy tuck was worth it. This study indicated the following findings that shed an extremely positive light on patient satisfaction with tummy tuck surgery:

ProcedureLevel of Patient Satisfaction
tummy tuck alone (no liposuction)88.8%
tummy tuck with liposuction99.2%

The study also found that about 98% of patients who underwent the combined tummy tuck with liposuction procedure said they would have the procedure done again and that about 99% said they would recommend it to others. A large-scale review found that major tummy tuck complications including hematomas (blood collections), infections, and blood clots (venous thromboembolism) occurred in around 4% of cases. Another study reported that about 4% of tummy tuck patients form thick, red, hypertrophic, or keloid scars.

Thick red scarring of tummy tuck surgery
Thick hypertrophic scars sometimes seen with tummy tucks

Given the extensive length of tummy tuck scars at the waistline and around the circumference of the bellybutton, this type of scarring can, in part, override the aesthetic benefits of the procedure. As such, learning about your own scarring tendencies can go a long way to ensuring your overall surgical experience with tummy tuck surgery is positive.

Average Cost Of A Tummy Tuck:

According to recent statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average tummy tuck cost in the USA is $6092 US dollars plus associated taxes. This number can be deceiving however as it is representative of costs for a baseline tummy tuck in most instances, and may not include the additional fees a surgeon will charge for supplementary liposuction, muscle tightening, overnight stays when necessary, and other expenses that will make up the overall tummy tuck cost.

ScarScore’s research of tummy tuck average costs concludes that total fees will generally look something like this in the USA and Canada:

tummy tuck, no muscle-tightening, no liposuction$6,000 – $10,000
tummy tuck with liposuction, no muscle-tightening$8,000 – $12,000
tummy tuck with muscle tightening and liposuction$9,500 – $15,000
overnight stayadd $350 – $500 per night

Tummy Tuck Specials:

Be very cautious of tummy tuck specials that are substantially below average tummy tuck costs for your geographic location. The expenses on the surgeon’s end are generally fairly fixed so tummy tuck costs that are attractively low may be indicative that corners will be cut in terms of your overall experience, including safety measures. Investigate tummy tuck specials and the cheapest tummy tuck offers very carefully before signing on, including these factors:

  • is the surgeon board-certified?
  • are the surgeon’s online reviews positive?
  • is the anesthetist board-certified?
  • is the facility up to par and approved by local licensing authorities?
  • what is included in the fee and what is not?

Additional Minor Expenses:

When researching tummy tuck costs, remember that surgical costs are very often advertised as baseline fees, with additional fees tacked on to your final bill. These additional fees can include:

  • additional surgical fees for supplementary liposuction, muscle repair
  • surgical facility or hospital overnight stay costs
  • pre-operative lab tests if deemed necessary (eg, blood tests, ultrasounds)
  • post operative garments (eg. tummy tuck binders)

Summary:

Tummy tuck cost varies depending on the extent of the procedure required (mostly dependent on the body type of the patient), and the geographic location and popularity of the surgeon. Tummy tuck cost is deemed to be worth it by the vast majority of patients that undergo the procedure according to studies published in major plastic surgery journals but is also a procedure that should not be taken on lightly due to its invasive nature. The procedure has a higher rate of significant complications compared to other cosmetic surgery procedures, and the body contouring benefits of the procedure can be overshadowed by the scarring the procedure leaves on the waistline and bellybutton areas of the body especially if scarring is hypertrophic or keloid.

Medical References:

Swanson, Eric M.D. Prospective Outcome Study of 360 Patients Treated with Liposuction, Lipoabdominoplasty, and Abdominoplasty, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: April 2012 – Volume 129 – Issue 4 – p 965-978 doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318244237f

Vidal, Pedro et al. “Managing Complications in Abdominoplasty: A Literature Review.” Archives of plastic surgery vol. 44,5 (2017): 457-468. doi:10.5999/aps.2017.44.5.457

Winocour, Julian M.D.; Gupta, Varun M.D.; Ramirez, J. Roberto M.D.; Shack, R. Bruce M.D.; Grotting, James C. M.D.; Higdon, K. Kye M.D. Abdominoplasty, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: November 2015 – Volume 136 – Issue 5 – p 597e-606e doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000001700

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