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Abdominoplasty Cost Factors That Influence the Final Price

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Abdominoplasty, more commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the abdomen. The procedure can help women achieve a flatter tummy and a more toned abdomen.

The average cost of a tummy tuck in the United States is over $6,000. But that amount doesn’t include costs for other factors that affect the cost such as general anesthesia fees, the operating room facilities, and medication. Consider these possible additional costs when considering the overall expense of an abdominoplasty procedure.

Key Takeaways of Abdominoplasty Cost

  • The average cost of an abdominoplasty procedure is around $6,092 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
  • Factors that impact the cost include the surgeon’s experience or expertise and geographical location, as well as the extent of procedure required.
  • Anesthesia fees, surgical facility fees, and costs for postoperative care are also part of the total price when estimating a tummy tuck procedure.
  • Insurance companies typically do not cover unnecessary abdominoplasties, but patients can explore medical financing or payment plans offered by surgeons if needed.

Understanding Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery

During abdominoplasty, excess skin and fat are removed, abdominal muscles are tightened, and weakened connective tissue may be repaired. The results of an abdominoplasty typically last for several years when combined with proper dieting and exercise.

Depending on the amount of tissue removed during the operation, there may be some scarring after surgery. Still, most patients see noticeable improvements in their overall body shape following the procedure.

Abdominoplasty can also boost self-confidence and reduce physical discomfort caused by excess loose skin or weakened muscle tone around the midsection. Women who have experienced childbirth or fluctuations in weight can significantly benefit from abdominoplasty due to its ability to remove excess skin and stubborn fat deposits and restore abdominal shape.

When considering any type of medical treatment or surgery, it is important for women to talk with their doctor about all available options as well as the risks associated with each option before making a decision about what works best for them.

Factors Affecting Tummy Tuck Costs

There are several factors that affect the total price tag of an abdominoplasty.

Surgeon’s Experience and Expertise

When considering an abdominoplasty, the surgeon’s experience and expertise should be carefully evaluated to ensure you get a qualified and knowledgeable doctor performing the procedure.

A board-certified plastic surgeon will have extensive skills from residency and training, plus post-residency certifications that demonstrate additional qualifications. Experienced plastic surgeons may charge more for their services due to: many years of practice in their specialty area, higher quality suturing materials used during the procedure, better access to advanced technologies and instruments, plus state of the art, operating room facilities and rooms with dedicated teams ready for minimally invasive procedures.

Choosing a reputable and skilled plastic surgeon can help avoid potential risks associated with plastic surgery procedures, while greatly reducing downtime or recovery period due to increased accuracy offered by experienced professionals.

Geographical Location

Prices tend to be higher in populated areas with many plastic surgeons and those that have more demand for the procedure, such as large cities or well-known plastic surgery centers.

Surgeons in these areas may charge more due to their excellent reputation and high levels of competition among practitioners. The cost will usually be lower in smaller towns or rural regions where patients have fewer options and providers are less experienced.

The demand for a particular procedure also plays a role in the pricing, so if one region has a particularly high need for tummy tucks, expect prices to slightly increase from what you may find elsewhere.

Types of Tummy Tuck Procedure

There are various types of abdominoplasty procedures available. Depending on an individual’s anatomy and desired outcome, a plastic surgeon may recommend one or more types of these cosmetic surgeries.

A traditional tummy tuck removes excess skin from the lower abdomen and tightness abdominal muscles to flatten the abdomen area. It is recommended for patients with significant weight loss, pregnancy or other conditions that have caused stretched skin and weakened abdominal muscles.

A mini tummy tuck only removes excess fat and loose skin below the belly button, and a full mini tummy tuck cost less. It extends to sides beyond the belly button to the hips, removes fatty deposits along with tightening abs used for people who need additional body contouring done around their midsection areas.

Additional Procedures

Abdominoplasty is gaining popularity among women who want to improve their abdominal contour and regain confidence. The total cost of abdominoplasty can vary significantly depending on several factors, for example if it includes other procedures like liposuction, breast augmentation, or the price of a mommy makeover.

Liposuction can help remove stubborn fat deposits in areas such as the stomach, waistline and hips while breast augmentation adds volume to smaller breasts for more outstanding balance and symmetry in the torso area.

A mommy makeover is usually conducted after pregnancy for restoring shape and enhancing appearance of the breasts and abdomen area. Combining abdominoplasty with other surgical procedures does not lead to increased complication rates and is considered safe.

Average Cost of Abdominoplasty

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimated that the average cost of abdominoplasty is around $6,192 in 2022.

This figure could rise depending on various factors, such as location, additional treatments and complexity of the procedure and post-op care and medications. For example, if you are looking into undergoing a full on tummy tuck recovery procedure in Dallas, it can range from $5,050 to up to $20,000, depending on the mentioned criteria.

Most doctors charge between $4,500 and $18,447 for this type of plastic surgery. However, this final fee still depends on many other factors that must be considered before finalizing any decisions. The surgeon’s consultation fees, anesthesia costs, and surgical facility fees, should be factored in the total cost.

Women must consult with board certified plastic surgeons before undergoing a tummy tuck as they can help explain all associated costs including those not always immediately obvious such as medications or follow up treatment after cosmetic surgery has been completed.

Image Credit: Spacemica / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Additional Costs to Consider for an Abdominoplasty

Consider these costs when deciding if an abdominoplasty is worth its price tag.

Anesthesia Fees

Anesthesia fees are often one of the major components when estimating total costs for abdominoplasty surgeries. These can range widely, anywhere from $500 to $3,500, depending on the type and duration of anesthesia used.

The cost is generally based on how long the anesthesiologist will take to provide sedation during a procedure. It could be higher if more than one anesthesiologist is needed or general anesthesia is required.

In most cases related to tummy tucks, local anesthesia can be chosen, typically requiring shorter preparation times and lower associated costs. Patients considering abdominoplasty or tummy tuck procedures discuss all expected anesthesia fees with their doctor before choosing this plastic surgery procedure, to understand what related expenses should be accounted for in preparation for surgery day.

Surgical Facility Fees

These charges are based on where the surgery will be performed, ranging from office based facilities to hospital outpatient departments or full service hospitals.

Hospital surgeries are more expensive due to their advanced medical equipment, personnel, and higher overhead costs such as licensing, insurance, and specialized staffing.

The average office-based facility charge for an abdominal augmentation is around $1,000. Depending on what city you live in or visit for your procedure, these can also impact these prices dramatically. However, most plastic surgeons offices have standard pricing no matter where they are located.

Post Operative Care and Medications

After undergoing abdominoplasty or tummy tuck surgery, following post-op care instructions is essential to achieve the desired results. Medications are often prescribed by a board certified surgeon for pain management to help ease discomfort after the procedure.

Patients should pay close attention to wound care, which includes cleaning and dressing the wounds, following specific instructions from their plastic surgeon. Strenuous physical activities should be stopped until given clearance by the doctor, as any sudden movements may slow the healing process or worsen the scarring of the surgical site.

Good nutrition and hydration are key components of a successful recovery, so make sure to consume adequate amounts of fluids and a balanced, nutritional diet. This can ensure a proper and speedy recovery.

Does Insurance Cover Abdominoplasty?

Insurance coverage criteria and policies vary, so it is important to talk to your insurance provider for more information on potential coverage.

Cosmetic vs. Medically Necessary Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure that tightens and reshapes the abdominal area. While it’s often used purely for aesthetic purposes, this procedure can also treat certain medical conditions.

Insurance companies typically consider whether an abdominoplasty is medically necessary when determining coverage. If it treats an underlying physical condition such as skin irritation or poor posture caused by excess skin following massive weight loss due to surgery or diseases like cancer or diabetes, insurance coverage may be possible.

This will require supporting documentation from your physician outlining exactly why you meet their medical necessity criteria to get approved for coverage.

Insurance Coverage Criteria

Abdominoplasty is typically not considered a medically necessary procedure. Private insurance companies generally do not provide any coverage for the procedure. Medicaid, Medicare, and most health insurance plans will also deny reimbursements for these surgeries.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has established its criteria that must be met for a Panniculectomy. This related surgical procedure removes the excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen, which an insurer considered medically necessary.

This requires individuals to either have experienced massive weight loss or obesity-related conditions. Patients may need to undergo rigorous testing to qualify for limited coverage under these conditions.

Financing Options for Abdominoplasty

Patients who cannot pay upfront costs can consider some financing options available.

Personal Savings

A personal savings account is one of the most popular methods for financing an abdominoplasty procedure. With careful planning and budgeting, savings can cover the cost of surgery in due time.

Setting aside money early on to pay for important purchases like plastic surgery costs can help ensure adequate preparation before making this big decision. Be aware of any extra costs associated with the procedure, such as post-op care and medications.

Many individuals recommend taking advantage of high interest rates by opening a dedicated savings account specifically designed to pay these kinds of other medical bills and expenses. This will allow access to extra funds if needed without incurring penalty fees or other limitations when accessing regular banking services.

Medical Financing Plans

Patient financing plans allow patients to spread out payments over an extended time. Medical credit cards are also an option for paying for makeover procedure costs.

Payment plans vary significantly from each provider, but typically involve monthly payments paid in a fixed duration or until the total amount owed has been paid off. To top it all off, there are reputable finance companies that offer specific funding sources designed explicitly for mommy makeovers.

There are also plastic surgery loans that range from $1,000 to $50,000 which may have different annual interest rates depending on the loan amount.

Choosing a financing plan for a cosmetic surgery will depend on the patient’s budget and financial situation. Interested candidates should consider all the options available before committing to any particular provider, to reap the most financial benefits achievable.

Healthcare Credit Cards

CareCredit is a credit card that can be used exclusively for cosmetic or elective medical surgeries and treatments. It doesn’t require a credit check making it accessible to many patients from different financial backgrounds without hassle.

Its flexible payment solutions make it ideal if one is looking for a less financially straining cosmetic surgery. It can be used for cosmetic surgeries such as breast augmentation, facelifts, liposuction, and rhinoplasty, and any related expenses to these procedures, making them ideal in helping afford these costly treatments.

Payment Plans Offered by the Surgeon

Doctors understand how costly surgery can be, so most offer payment plans to help patients finance the cost of procedures. These payment plans allow patients to make manageable monthly payments instead of paying the total cost upfront.

One financing option is enrolling in a payment plan through the surgeon’s office. This plan usually requires an initial down payment and dividing up the remaining balance over equal monthly installments paid regularly for 6 months or more.

Benefits of a Tummy Tuck Procedure

Abdominoplasty is one of the world’s most popular cosmetic procedures for women due to its benefits in appearance and overall well being.

Image Credit: Repinanatoly / 123RF.com (Licensed). 

Improved Abdominal Contour

A tummy tuck surgery can dramatically improve the shape and appearance of the abdomen. Excess skin and fat are removed from the abdominal area to provide a smoother and flatter profile. The result shows a flat stomach and an improved contour in the midsection that helps boost self-confidence.

Abdominoplasty may be combined with liposuction to further reshape the body profile while avoiding unsightly fatty deposits or skin irregularities around the abdomen.

Increased Self Confidence

Past patients reported an increased self-confidence after the procedure. This boost in self-confidence stems from improved self-esteem due to an aesthetically pleasing abdomen area and relief from physical discomfort, which can affect posture and mobility.

Some patients have also observed mental health benefits from feeling better about themselves, and newly acquired confidence leading to greater ease when engaging in social activities such as going out with friends or family members.

Substantial emotional improvements have been noted by anecdotal evidence provided by plastic surgeons and individuals who have undergone the transformation.

Relief from Physical Discomfort

Abdominoplasty can benefit individuals who have experienced significant weight loss or changes due to pregnancy.

Excess skin that has remained after significant weight loss or after successive pregnancies consistently causes physical discomfort such as back pain, rash, infections and other health issues. Abdominoplasty helps alleviate this discomfort by tightening the underlying muscles and removing extra tissue, reducing inflammation and improving posture.

Preparing for Abdominoplasty

There are certain preparations interested candidates must do before deciding to get a tummy tuck surgery. Patients can’t just walk in a facility and decide they’re going to have the surgery right then and there.

Consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Choosing a plastic surgeon for abdominoplasty surgery is an important decision. Board-certified plastic surgeons have completed extensive education, rigorous training, and ongoing skills assessment in cosmetic surgical procedures.

Select a qualified professional with specialized knowledge and years of practice performing tummy tucks. The American Board of Plastic Surgery provides certification for experienced surgeons who can demonstrate high standards and technical know-how when it comes to assessing if a patient is eligible for the procedure, or if there is a better surgery fit for their needs.

Understanding the Risks and Potential Complications

Common risks associated with the procedure include reactions to anesthesia, bleeding during and after surgery, deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications, and fat necrosis.

Anesthesia reactions could involve nausea or vomiting following the procedure. When undertaking any surgery, there is always a risk of a significant amount of blood loss or infection due to a weakened immune system during healing.

Deep vein thrombosis can occur when blood clots form in the leg veins, which may cause pain or discoloration in the affected area that could become life-threatening if untreated. Cardiac and pulmonary issues, including heart attack and pneumonia, are also possible on rare occasions.

Following Pre-Operative Instructions

It is crucial to adhere to the necessary pre-operative instructions provided by the plastic surgeon. These instructions are essential in improving patient safety and achieving satisfactory results from the cosmetic procedure itself.

Adhering to these guidelines before and after the surgery can minimize the risk of complications of a full abdominoplasty, such as infection and poor healing response. Patients should also maintain a stable weight for at least a year before having an abdominoplasty.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Cost of Abdominoplasty

1. How Much Does Abdominoplasty Cost?

Average cost typically ranges from $4000 to $9500, depending on the extent of the procedure and other factors such as consultation fees, surgeon fees, anesthesia costs, and hospital facility charges.

2. Are Insurance Plans Likely to Cover This Surgery?

Insurance companies generally don’t provide coverage for any cosmetic surgery, including a full tummy tuck.

If found medically necessary due to a condition involving abnormalities in the abdominal wall area, such as laxity or separation caused by weight loss or pregnancy, a portion of the surgery may be reimbursed.

Extensive medical evaluation and proof of doctor’s recommendation is needed to determine eligibility for abdominoplasty insurance coverage.

Image Credit: lacheev / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Conclusion and Summary of Abdominoplasty Cost Factors That Influence the Final Price

The average cost of an abdominoplasty can range widely, usually from $3,000 to $15,000. Many factors influence the price, including geography, procedure complexity, and financing plans. Patients must take note of additional costs, such as anesthesia fees and post-operative care to determine if the total cost will fit their overall budget.

A successful abdominoplasty procedure offers a lot of benefits such as the relief from physical discomfort caused by excess weight, and a better looking physical appearance that ultimately increases self-confidence.

Please note that this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Before making any changes to your treatments, please consult with your healthcare provider to discuss the appropriateness and safety of such changes.

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About the Author

Dr. Brandon Richland, MD is a respected Board Certified Licensed Plastic Surgeon in Orange County / Southern California specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries.

Driven by his passion for medicine, Dr. Richland obtained his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the prestigious program at Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine in 2013. His exceptional skills were recognized when he received the McGraw Hill / Lange Medical Student Academic Achievement Award, and graduated top of his class with Honors. For his undergraduate degree, he attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated with Honors in 2009.

To further enhance his surgical expertise, Dr. Richland completed his Residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) from 2013 to 2019 earning the Academic Achievement Award twice during this period. A total of 14 years in dedicated schooling and medical residency.

Dr. Richland is actively involved with healthcare and medical societies, as a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Contact Dr. Richland today by visiting RichlandMD.com, scheduling a cosmetic consultation, or by calling 714-241-0646 or 949-945-0025 directly.