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Tummy Tuck

Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin, and in most cases restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.

A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes these methods cannot achieve our goals. Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Aging
  • Significant fluctuations in weight
  • Heredity
  • Prior surgery

What a Tummy Tuck Is Not

A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Although the results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies may be advised to postpone a tummy tuck.

Also, a tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised, generally those treated areas below the belly button.

Possible Tummy Tuck Risks

Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications. Risks include:

  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Bleeding (hematoma)
  • Infection
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Poor wound healing
  • Skin loss
  • Blood clots
  • Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling
  • Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
  • Major wound separation
  • Asymmetry
  • Recurrent looseness of skin
  • Pain, which may persist
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Persistent swelling in the legs
  • Nerve damage
  • Possibility of revisional surgery
  • Suboptimal aesthetic result

You’ll need help if your tummy tuck is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.

Tummy Tuck Costs

The cost of a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) includes three fees: the anesthesia fee, the facility fee, and the surgeon's fee. The surgeon's fee is the most difficult to predict without first knowing the extent of the procedure and the qualifications of the plastic surgeon.

Average fees vary significantly, from $3,000 to $8,500. The anesthesiology fee is typically $500 to $700, and the facility fee is $700 to $1,000. The surgeon's fee is typically $3,500 to $6,000.

Extent of Tummy Tuck Procedure

The more skin and fat to be removed, the longer the surgical time requirement, and the higher the cost. Costs vary among facilities as well. Tummy tucks can be performed in an office surgical suite, but in many cases they are performed in a hospital.

The procedure often requires many hours in surgery. Some patients stay overnight in the hospital. The procedures with overnight stays are typically the most expensive.

 
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