If you are one of those individuals who are self-conscious about drooping skin around the stomach or you probably had weak abdominal muscles after giving birth or weight loss, then tummy tuck surgery is the way to go. Although it’s not really a weight loss technique, it can give you a firmer and more youthful figure. It is normally the last option whenever exercises and diet fail to work.
In this procedure, also known as abdominoplasty, the surgeon eliminates all fat deposits, loose skin and tightens all the abdominal muscles. Many people shy away from this procedure due to the heavy tummy tuck costs involved. This operation has several variations supposed to suit the needs of every person.
Keep in mind that this procedure is different from liposuction, but it is possible to get a tummy tuck along with a liposuction. People should also be aware that this is a major surgery and they must therefore have the facts.
Who is a Suitable Tummy Tuck Surgery Candidate?
This procedure is suitable for both men and women as long as they are in good health.
Women who may have had a number of pregnancies may find the operation useful as it will eliminate excess skin and tighten their abdominal muscles.
Abdominoplasty is also perfect for women and men who were previously obese and still have loose skin and excess fat deposits around their skin.
Who is Not Suitable for an Abdominoplasty?
If you are planning to be pregnant, then you should consider postponing the tummy tuck surgery until you are done siring children. This is due to the fact that during this operation, your abdominal muscles are tightened and may be separated in the future when you get pregnant.
Apart from the pregnancy, people planning to lose massive weights are exempted from this category. The operation should be your very last option once everything else has failed. This is not a weight loss alternative strategy.
You should be aware of the scars that will appear on your tummy after the procedure. Consider discussing this issue with your doctor before the surgery.
Factors that Affects the Tummy Tuck Cost
This is a complete individualized treatment which makes it difficult to provide a single cost value. But generally, tummy tuck cost varies from $3,000 to $12,000. This value will depend on the following factors:
- The reputation and experience of your plastic surgeon.
- The patient’s needs.
- The type of procedure that the patient chooses to have.
- The surgical technics or technology that the patient decides to have.
- The type of anesthesia decides to have.
Patients should not ignore the fact that there might be additional costs besides the initial quote. For instance, the surgical facility and anesthesia are normally billed separately. Patients should consult their surgeons on this issue before the procedure.
Tummy tuck operation is considered a cosmetic procedure. Because of that, insurance companies do not cover it. However, a number of cosmetic surgeons have linked with good financing organizations that provide reasonable payments to their patients. There are also various medical companies that will assist patients to acquire affordable plastic surgeons in the same manner they would assist you find a new home or car.
Most often, the plastic surgeon’s office will assist you in finding the most suitable payment method depending on your budget. They can also assist you in filling in all the necessary paperwork.
Majority of the plastic surgeons accept credit cards, cash, and checks while others provide different options of financing. For instance, patients could be given an option of creating a no-interest or fixed repayment plan with an approved credit. Some doctors are nice to the extent that they may offer their client discounts especially if they are settling their tummy tuck cost in full. Of course, doctors are quite different, and you may have to ask yours about their financing options.
How to Choose your Plastic Surgeon
The choice of a plastic surgeon is one of the most difficult one once you have decided to undergo abdominoplasty. This operation will impact you for the rest of your life, so it is crucial to go for a doctor who will give you that attractive, natural outcome. With a qualified surgeon, the patient will most definitely recover quickly and have minimum risks in the end. You should, therefore, consider the following in a doctor:
- Training and Affiliations
Ensure the doctor you have settled for has a minimum of five years of medical training, with atleast two of them majoring on tummy plastic surgery. For better results, you should search for a doctor who has been in the medical practice for a number of years. Most importantly, make sure the doctor is accredited by the American Board of Plastic Surgery as well as other affiliations.
A competent surgeon should also have a central point of operation. Most of the hospitals do background checks, so if there are no privileges for the doctor, then he is probably inexperienced. Another advantage of having a center of operation is that you know where to take your issues in the event of complications.
Although plastic surgeons are allowed to undergo a tummy tuck procedure, ensure the surgeon has been doing this regularly. In addition to this, find a surgeon with the right tools and experience to do various types of tummy tuck operations such as circumferential, endoscopic, full, mini and extensive procedures. In case you need to combine your procedure with another one, find a doctor who is familiar to these procedures as well.
- Past Results
Plastic surgeries are procedures that involve outward operation and must therefore yield some positive results. A competent doctor must therefore keep some before-and-after photos of their previous operations as evidence of their competence.
As a potential patient, ask yourself whether the surgeon’s work is what you would love to see depending on the photos. Confirm with the medical board in your state and verify whether the doctor adheres to all the surgical procedures and safety standards. Every state has its own unique policies. Patients can easily access any of this information online, while in some cases, they have to ask for copies through emails.
- An Accredited Surgical Center
Although a surgeon’s affiliation is good enough, individuals should ensure that the doctor is linked to a fully accredited center. Just in case the doctor does not work with a certain hospital, they must atleast be registered with a reputable accreditation firm.
- A Personal Connection
Tummy tuck costs can be very high at times, and you must, therefore, get the best value out of it. For the doctor to do a good job there must be some form of personal touch. Always go for a doctor whom you will feel okay with. Ask yourself:
- Does the surgeon listen to personal issues?
- Does the doctor take forever to answer my querries?
- Is he or she willing to give me tailor made procedure to meet my requirements?
- Is the doctor trying to force me to do something I do not like?
- Am I feeling comfortable in the office? Does the doctor and his stuff welcome me with a smile?
As much as experience and safety are paramount, a personal relationship with your surgeon is very important when it comes to getting the results that you have always desired.
Things to Expect before paying the Initial Tummy Tuck Costs
Once the patient has finally chosen the specific plastic surgeon, they will need to conduct a personal consultation before even committing the first payment. The timing of this appointment will of course depend on your personal preferences and doctor’s schedule. Regardless of the timeline you all come up with, the pre-surgical consultations will include a number of components.
- Assessing Your Physical Health
The obvious thing that the doctor will do is to conduct a physical exam based on your past medical history. This enables the surgeon to identify whether the patient is eligible for an abdominoplasty and minimize the risks involved. It is good that the patient be honest as possible about their past medical history. They must inform their doctor anything regarding previous medical issues and present medications.
Although the current medical status may not exclude the patient from the operation, the surgeon may need to take the necessary precautions. The patient should inform the doctor whether for example they smoke, this will not change anything about the surgery but the patient will have to stop smoking for a while.
- Discussing Your Cosmetic Goals
Once the doctor understands the physical needs of the patient, they can easily discuss the aesthetic objectives of the operation. The doctor can for instance, take several photographs and they can decide on the correct treatment for the patient. Other considerations that might be discussed may include things like where to put the incisions, degree of corrections, physical health and tummy tuck costs.
Once this personalized treatment is complete, the patient will need to either decline or accept the proposed terms.
Types of Tummy Tuck
There are various types abdominoplasty available there and the surgeon will assist you in choosing the correct procedure depending on the personal needs.
- Traditional tummy tucks
This is the most commonly performed tummy tuck procedure in the world. It entails creation of incision from areas of belly button and hip-to-hip incision. Since the procedure focuses on the whole abdominal area, the belly button might be moved a little bit in order to create a natural looking outcome.
- Mini tummy tucks
This one focuses on people who are only interested in making changes on their abdomen. For mini tummy tuck, only a little incision is required as they do not need a repositioning of the navel.
- Endoscopic tummy tuck
This form of surgery is done on people who don’t have loose skin or noticeable abdominal fat. In this procedure, a tiny camera is attached to a tiny slender tube known as an endoscope and it is inserted near the incision site. With this form of operation, scarring is rarely noticed.
- Extended tummy tuck
This procedure involves the elimination of ‘love handles’ on both sides of the waist and removal of any other excess skin around the stomach area. This incision is normally very low and it is rarely noticed.
- Circumferential tummy tucks
This is a form of a body lift. This is normally done by people who have previously done gastric bypass surgeries. Since the sagging skin could be as health issue, the insurance company will always cover the tummy tuck cost incurred here.
What you need for the Surgery
Before you undertake the surgery, you will need to get ready with:
- Ice packs
- Loose and comfortable clothes that can easily be put off and on without any challenges.
- Petroleum jelly
- Bathroom chair and a hand-held shower head.
You will definitely require someone to take you home once the procedure is complete. If you happen to live alone, make sure there is someone who can stay with you that first night.
How a Tummy Tuck is done
Depending on the type of tummy procedure, this procedure can take up to five hours at most. But this will also depend on the magnitude of your case. You will most likely be given anesthesia in order to sleep during the operation.
Expect some swelling and pain after the surgery. Your surgeon will let you know how you can control the pain. The sore may continue for a couple of weeks or months.
You may also experience some bruising, numbness and fatigue in that duration. Just like in any other operation, expect some risks as well. Although it is very rare, the complications may include blood clots, infections, or bleeding under the skin flap. People with lung, liver and heart diseases are more likely to encounter more complications.
You might also experience slow healing which can lead to loss of skin or scarring. You might need another surgery just in case you start healing poorly. Also keep in mind that, tummy tucks will always leave scars although they might fade slightly. Ask your surgeon to include ointments or creams in your tummy tuck cost that will aid in removing the scars.