Tummy Tuck 101: Costs, Effect, and Everything You Can Expect

With an estimated 5.12% CAGR growth rate from 2017 to 2025, the abdominoplasty surgery market, known as “tummy tuck,” is at the forefront of cosmetic surgery. As the sixth most typical cosmetic procedure in the U.S., countless people have booked appointments to get a firmer and thinner tummy.

But, it can seem overwhelming for those who’ve never had experience with cosmetic procedures when trying to book your first one. Even if the operation can amplify the physical appearance, it’s normal to feel a little anxious about “going under the knife”.

If you already decided to have this operation, knowing the ins and outs of a tummy tuck procedure is crucial. Including what happens before, during, and after surgery, how much is a tummy tuck, why you need a certified surgeon, and so on. Here is a detailed analysis of one of the most sought-after procedures.

What Should I Expect During the Tummy Tuck Procedure?

Before we talk about how much is a tummy tuck, it’s important to cover what happens during a tummy tuck surgery. According to research, patients tend to experience anxiety before having any kind of operation.

Their heart starts pounding, racing, which can be followed by a stomachache, nausea, and shortness of breath. Of course, it doesn’t happen for everyone. But, for those who do experience it, stress can be a severe issue.

how much is a tummy tuck

Don’t worry. Your plastic surgeon will keep you up to speed and help you relax. But to try and ease that anxiousness yourself, you should know the basics. This procedure is designed to contour the abdominal muscles. It makes the abdominal wall tighter and removes the excess skin.

To fit every patient’s unique aesthetic goals, a surgeon will recommend different types of tummy tuck surgery. What happens during a procedure depends on the type of surgery the patient selected. The following types listed below can answer all the questions for you.

Full Tummy Tuck

Procedure length: 3 ½ hours at the surgery center, around 2 ½ hours in surgery.
Recovery time: 8 weeks

Those interested in working on their lower and upper abdomen choose a full procedure. The surgeon makes an umbilical incision, giving the patient an “innie” belly button. The incision is done on the low waistline so that the patient will have an easier time hiding it. The surgeon then removes the excess skin and tones the muscles.

Mini Tummy Tuck

Procedure length: 2 to 3 hours
Recovery time: 6+ weeks

A mini tummy tuck targets just the lower abdomen. It’s mostly done on patients worried about stretch marks or loose skin under their belly button. The surgeon begins by making a tiny horizontal incision right between the hipbones. Then, they take out the excess skin and work to tighten the muscles.

Extended Tummy Tuck

Procedure length: 3 to 4 hours
Recovery time: roughly 8 weeks

They are often suggested for patients who’ve recently shed many excess pounds and want to refine their bodies. The surgery takes care of the abundance of excess skin, with an average cost that can reach up to $20,000, depending on the size of the body.

Fleur-de-Lis Tummy Tuck

Procedure length: 3 to 6 hours
Recovery time: 1 to 2 weeks

The surgical incision looks like Fleur-de-Lis petals – hence the name. It works on the midline of the abdomen and uses two incisions along the middle of the abdomen and the pubic bone. The best candidates are those with lower rolls and extra looseness from side to side. But, this surgery has the potential to leave a noticeable scar.

Drainless Tummy Tuck

Procedure length: 3 hours or less
Recovery time: 1 to 2 weeks

When there is fluid built up between the muscles and the skin, that’s when surgeons suggest the drainless procedure. The surgeon makes a tiny incision, which they then use to close the extra space. This technique prevents further accumulation of fluids. Plus, the body heals much faster. You might first start seeing results after 6 to 8 weeks.

Tummy Tuck With Liposuction

Procedure length: 2 to 4 hours
Recovery time: 8 weeks

By taking out the pockets of fat, this treatment provides adequate contour for the body. It is capable of fixing the muscle tissue and addressing the loose skin. It can work on multiple areas across the body. The practical benefit of this kind of approach is that patients often go home the same day.

To know how much is a tummy tuck of this type, you should look at the individual average cost. Liposuction can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000, or $6,000 on average. While a tummy tuck ranges from $6,000 to $10,000, depending on the amount of work done. Of course, these are just rough estimates. Your surgeon will be able to give you a detailed price range when combining the two.

Non-Surgical Tummy Tuck

Procedure length: 1 hour
Recovery time: varies from patient to patient

Those who are worried about surgical incisions and the lengthy downtime prefer this relatively painless option. It takes care of moderate or mild loose skin, providing the body with a lifting effect that can last for roughly a year. However, this is not a viable alternative for those who have a lot of saggy skin.

When wondering how much is a tummy tuck, nonsurgical fat removal is the most affordable choice. It can cost roughly $1,400, with $940 for a lipolysis injection. If you need to cover other expenses, the average cost will vary. Discuss with your plastic surgeon to know if the final fee is within your price range.

How Should I Pick a Plastic Surgeon for My Tummy Tuck?

Choosing the right cosmetic surgeon will mean the difference between a great outcome and potentially severe health complications. If you end up in the hands of an inexperienced health care professional, then you expose yourself to poorer outcomes. As well as additional time, costs, and heartache.

A reputable plastic surgeon should:

  • Be board-certified
  • Have a substantial record of performing the exact procedure you need
  • Have accredited operating rooms
  • Ensures optimal customer service
  • Matches your aesthetic sense (shows you tummy tuck before and after results, pays attention to your unique qualities, has worked with patients with a similar body shape to yours, etc.)

To make the selection process a lot easier, comparing multiple surgeons in your region is a good idea. You can also ask your health care provider to give you some pointers on the surgeons you can choose. This will be your most important decision. So, make sure to do some hefty research instead of going “all-in.”

Why Choose a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon?

Roughly 90% of practicing physicians in the United States are board-certified. Representing over 7,000 physician members, the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) is the most prominent organization that features board-certified cosmetic surgeons on the globe.

In 2019, the National Plastic Surgery statistics reported 118,210 tummy tucks done. Compared to 62,713 in the 2000s. Because of the increasing demand for these surgeries, the need for a procedure often underscores the necessity for regulation.

This can make patients prone to making uninformed decisions. As you can see, selecting a board-certified cosmetic surgeon is more important than you think. Experts who’ve obtained this level of certification have completed years of training in both bodily and facial procedures.

They know precisely how to handle difficult situations and emergencies. In case something happens during surgery. They have honed their skills over the years and recognize the difficulties that come with the profession.

To obtain an ABPS (American Board of Plastic Surgery) certification, surgeons have a minimum of 5 years of surgical training. This also features plastic surgery residency. They’ve passed oral and comprehensive written exams. They continue to maintain their certification, ensuring an optimal experience for every patient.

Key Facts on How Much is a Tummy Tuck

  • The average cost of a tummy tuck is $6,154, according to 2020 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
  • The average price of an abdominoplasty (a.k.a. tummy tuck), according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), was $6,092 in 2019.
  • The coasts account for 66 percent of all tummy tucks performed in the United States.
  • The ASPS 2019 Statistics Report shows 66 percent of all tummy tuck surgeries occur along the coasts.
  • The vast majority of patients are thrilled with their decision to undergo the procedure tummy tuck has a 97% “Worth It”.
  • she understands your goals and feels 100% comfortable asking any questions before and after surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost for a tummy tuck in 2019 was So; you may want to get several opinions to find a plastic surgeon who fits within your budget.
  • “I looked at large volumes of statistics, and about 55 percent of women that come in the door [with concerns about their stomach] have liposuction, while about 45 percent need a tummy tuck,” Matarasso says.
  • “In males, it’s about 90 percent that ends up needing liposuction and only about 10 percent that are better candidates for tummy tucks.
  • If a patient’s primary issue is excess fat, non-invasive options can usually reduce superficial fat by 25 percent, on average,” Smith explains.

Factors to Consider in the Total Cost of a Tummy Tuck Procedure

A lot of people want to know how much is a tummy tuck. But, what they don’t realize is that many factors play a part in the total fee. Therefore, you will be paying additional expenses based on how these factors affect the overall rate.

These are the factors you should consider:

Type of procedure

For example, if you are getting a high-end abdominoplasty, the total cost can reach $15,000. In contrast, a typical procedure costs an average of $6,000. For low-end services, which are not without risks, the price can vary to around $3,000. The same thing applies when choosing a non-surgical versus a surgical approach. Non-surgical tummy tuck tends to be cheaper than an extended tummy tuck.

Consultation fee

At the initial appointment, the surgeon will observe your anatomy. They will talk about their future goals. And give you a detailed guideline of how much is a tummy tuck going to cost. 

Anesthesia fee

Almost all plastic surgeries are done under general anesthesia. So, this is a fee you shouldn’t overlook.

Prescription medication

There is an option for patients who want to decrease their post-operative pain. Surgeons offer non-opioid and non-narcotic pain relievers to curb the aches. They get injected into the abdominal tissue, muscles, and fascia during the procedure. Choosing this medication can add more costs.

Facility and location

Each facility has its price range. The location is equally important when looking online for “tummy tuck cost near me.” In bigger cities and highly populated areas, the cost of surgery tends to spike up. But, when there is a lot of competition, use nearby, clinics are using competitive prices.

Recovery

You will be wearing abdominal binders to speed up recovery. This will add a couple of extra bucks. Patients who don’t have assistance at home will spend a long time in a post-op period in the recovery room. This ramps up the price.

Financing Cosmetic Procedures: How Much is a Tummy Tuck

When planning a tummy tuck, patients are worried about how they can afford it. Many of them ask how much is a tummy tuck in California and want to compare the prices. This is a good strategy when looking to save on some of the expenses.

In California or any other region, the fee varies based on body type, clinic, surgeon, and add-on procedures. But, you can expect to pay anywhere from $9,000 to $15,000. Those in need of information on how much a tummy tuck in Ohio can be from $5,500 to $8,500.

It is challenging to know the exact estimates, given how many factors influence the final rate. But, you can use these numbers just to be generally prepared. Another question that often keeps popping up is how much is a tummy tuck in Texas?

The average cost is about $6,800 to $12,500. For it, all the financing comes from your savings. However, don’t take these numbers to heart. Be sure to consult with your preferred surgeon and see whether the price fits your end-game result.

Tummy Tuck Prices in Mexico vs. Other Locations

Many patients want to know how much is a tummy tuck in Mexico. For a circular abdominoplasty in Mexico, the price can range from $4,300 to $4,500.

In Los Angeles, for instance, the average cost is a lot higher, often reaching over $8,500.

In Toronto, Canada, the bill can reach a staggering $9,400, which can be a lot for individuals on a tight budget.

That’s why a lot of patients are considering Mexico as a go-to choice. It may not be as convenient as getting the procedure done nearby, but the final rate plays a significant role. Particularly for individuals who need multiple abdominoplasties done.

What Happens if I Gain Weight After My Tummy Tuck Procedure?

When a person packs on a few extra pounds, it’s normal to see some changes. But, after an abdominoplasty, the fat cells have been removed, so they can’t grow back. Therefore, patients will be gaining weight in other areas of their bodies. This includes the:

  • Breasts
  • Arms
  • Legs 
  • Buttocks

It’s not uncommon for individuals to gain additional pounds around their organs. Unfortunately, neither liposuction nor abdominoplasty can get rid of these fat cells. To make the most of the procedure, minor weight fluctuations shouldn’t be a problem. So, if you get 10-15 pounds, you won’t see any issues.

But, if you go down a slippery slope and pack on 20, 30, or 40 pounds, that’s when you will see a belly bulge. The muscles begin to stretch, and any further changes will result in a bigger belly.

To study the possibility of weight gain after liposuction, experts did 600 questionnaires. They focused on patients who had the procedure. Based on the reports, 80% were satisfied with the outcome. Precisely 43% of the respondents reported gaining weight.

56% gained 5-10 pounds in 6 months post-surgery. In 65%, their fat returned to the abdomen. This study was published back in 2006 but still conveys some practical information. That’s why patients should stick to healthy eating and an active lifestyle. This is the simplest way to enjoy long-term results.

Is the Tummy Tuck Procedure Safe?

Like any surgery out there, abdominoplasty comes with a set of risks, like anesthesia complications, infections, or bleeding. Overall, this is a very safe procedure and can yield substantial results.

According to a study of almost 25,000 tummy tucks done, severe complications occurred in just 4% of patients. When combined with other procedures, like body contouring with liposuction, the relative risks for significant complications are 50% higher.

The risks for infections and lung-related complications can increase when receiving care from an uncertified surgeon. The moment you book an appointment with your surgeon, they will disclose the possibility for risks completely. They will address all the questions you might be having and advise you whether you are a good candidate for treatment.

For instance, if you plan on having more children, then postpone the procedure. Pregnancy can cause saggy skin and fatty deposit build-up. If you have an unmanaged health issue, like increased blood pressure or a metabolic condition, you will not be a good candidate. Your surgeon will advise you to start working on your health before you get a tummy tuck.

Other patients who are advised not to get the procedure don’t have enough time for recovery. It’s crucial to let your body recuperate. But, if you plan to get back to work right after having it done, then you will be doing more harm than good. So, consult with a plastic surgeon and evaluate your options.

Conclusion

Getting back that slim body is no easy feat. For many, surgery is the most efficient and practical alternative. But, this life-changing decision often comes at a hefty price.

It means that you would have to break the bank to get the desired result. That’s why we decided to compile this guide for you. With the information listed here, you can get a better perspective of the costs and expenses.

You can see exactly what a procedure like this can offer. Of course, it is a good idea to compare prices. When you look at different locations and clinics, you can see that the cost varies. In Mexico, people get the cheapest tummy tucks. Whereas in California, it can be costly. Now that you know your options, you’ll have an easier time deciding which one is best for your needs.

FAQs

Can tummy tuck be covered by insurance?

No. Although the costs are a little steep, you can’t get insurance coverage. But, it is cheaper than a Panniculectomy, which is a surgery that takes out the hanging fat and skin to create a smoother contour. Both procedures are famous for getting the tummy back on track yet have a different price range.

What qualifies you for a tummy tuck?

You can’t use the procedure to lose weight but to contour the body. A proper candidate is the one who recently shed a lot of weight, either through exercise, dieting, or giving birth. If you are already too slim and need only minor changes, you might not qualify for the procedure.

How many sizes do you lose with a tummy tuck?

It depends on where you start. In general, you can expect to lose roughly 2-3 pants sizes. However, it’s not uncommon to experience even heftier results. Those who had a lot of loose skin, mainly from pregnancy, can go down 4+ pants sizes. This is a drastic change for those who struggle with loose skin.

Can you get a tummy tuck with fibroids?

Every patient is different, so speaking to a board-eligible surgeon should be a top priority. Overall, fibroids don’t prevent a person from getting abdominoplasty. But, talk with a gynecologist first. Since many patients combine a tummy tuck with a hysterectomy, you will need medical advice.

How do you finance a tummy tuck?

Other than maximizing their credit cards, people opt for plastic surgery loans. They get the funds and means to cover the expenses, which can be highly beneficial.

What is the average cost for a tummy tuck?

Roughly $6,154. But, this is a general estimate. Don’t forget to include all the other factors that impact the price range like location, type of procedure, recovery, etc. To get the most accurate rate, book an appointment with your surgeon. They will assess your body and tell you exactly how much the procedure is going to cost.

What is the cheapest state to get a tummy tuck?

Mexico has the lowest rates. But a lot of people prefer to get the treatment in their local area. Saving money on traveling expenses can come a long way. Whichever location you select, it’s entirely up to you. Just make sure you are visiting certified professionals to avoid the risk of possible complications.

Is liposuction cheaper than a tummy tuck?

Yes. Since liposuction is less invasive, the cost drops significantly lower. Yet, many people like to combine the two. Another thing to mention is the level of pain. Although people have different pain tolerances, liposuction is considered less painful than a tummy tuck. So, other than the price, you should also think about the pain.

Dr Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, Dr. Ahmed spends his time outside the hospital, either reading or at the gym.

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