A tummy tuck—or abdominoplasty, as it is officially named—is a form of plastic surgery that removes excess fat and skin from the abdomen.
The cosmetic procedure can help when diet and exercise fail to eliminate stubborn fat, and it can also help to remove excess skin that may be present after a pregnancy or after substantial weight loss.
Costs can vary depending on whether you need a full or partial abdominoplasty. Typically, tummy tucks are not covered by insurance, but coverage depends on the reason for the procedure.
If you need a tummy tuck, it’s important to know what the procedure will cost as well as your options for financing this expensive cosmetic surgery. This guide can help.
In this guide:
- What is the Average Cost of a Tummy Tuck?
- What is Included in the Cost of a Tummy Tuck?
- Will Health Insurance Cover Abdominoplasty?
- How to Pay for a Tummy Tuck
- Reasons for Getting a Tummy Tuck Surgery
What is the Average Cost of a Tummy Tuck?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fees for a tummy tuck were $6,253 in 2018.
While you can find out the average price of a tummy tuck, your specific costs could vary widely. Some of the factors that affect the price you will pay include:
- Where you have the procedure done
- The experience of the plastic surgeon who performs the procedure
- The procedure that is used (most procedures involve liposuction, tightening of the muscles, and removal of loose skin)
- The amount of excess skin that must be removed
You should talk with your doctor upfront about your aesthetic goals for the procedure, understand what techniques will be used to achieve your desired goals, and get a clear idea of the budget involved so there are no surprises.
What is Included in the Cost of a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck involves separating the skin from the abdominal muscles, pulling the muscles more tightly together to create a narrower waist, then removing excess skin in the stomach area.
In addition to surgeon’s fees, there may be other costs that you incur if you undergo a tummy tuck. Some of the other costs that you can expect to pay include:
- General anesthesia
- Surgical facility fees
- Prescription medications
- Post-surgery garments
- Pre-op care
- Post-op care—especially if you get a belly button infection
These added expenses can raise the price of a tummy tuck far beyond the surgeon’s fees you have to pay for the actual abdominoplasty.
Be sure you know what is included in the price that you are quoted by your doctor, so you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether the procedure is affordable and how to finance it.
Will Health Insurance Cover Abdominoplasty?
Health insurance typically does not cover any part of the costs associated with a tummy tuck if the procedure is performed purely for cosmetic reasons. However, there may be a limited number of situations where you could have your procedure covered.
If you have a concurrent hernia, it is possible that a portion of your procedure could be covered by your health insurance policy.
A panniculectomy, which is effectively a large abdominoplasty, could also be covered by your insurance after a gastric bypass procedure has been performed—if excess skin that remains is causing functional problems, such as back issues or dermatitis.
You should check with your insurer in advance to determine if your procedure will be fully or partially covered.
How to Pay for a Tummy Tuck
Since you likely won’t receive any insurance coverage for your tummy tuck, you’ll have to pay for it out of pocket. However, there are several methods you can use to finance this expense, so you can pay for it over several months.
Medical loans are just personal loans that can be used to cover medical expenses. These loans allow you to borrow money for medical procedures and pay it back at a fixed rate over a predetermined number of months.
To compare options, you can check out our guides to the best medical loans and personal loans for cosmetic surgery.
0% APR Credit Card
Credit cards with a 0% APR period can also be used. However, you should make sure you’re able to pay off the full balance before the intro period expires, and always make minimum payments on time to avoid damaging your credit.
If you want to compare other options, you can check out our guide to the best credit cards.
Financing Through Your Doctor
Finally, consider asking your doctor if they offer a financing program. It’s common for board-certified plastic surgeons to allow patients to pay off their procedures over a series of fixed installments.
Reasons for Getting a Tummy Tuck Surgery
There are many reasons why people may want to undergo an abdominoplasty.
Usually, their reasons are cosmetic. Weight loss and diet changes alone may not allow for all fat to be removed, so a tummy tuck may be necessary to achieve the desired aesthetic appearance of the stomach.
People who have lost a substantial amount of weight may have excess skin in the stomach area, and women who were pregnant may also be left with excess skin and stretch marks in this area. A tummy tuck may be necessary to remove this loose skin.
But tummy tucks may also be necessary for health reasons, such as back problems or rashes caused by the excess skin.
Bottom Line: Tummy Tucks are Expensive But You Have Options
Tummy tucks can be expensive, but they may help you feel better about your appearance, improve your self-esteem, or help in stopping pain and discomfort.
The procedure could cost you several thousands of dollars, and your insurance policy may not cover it. You could potentially finance a tummy tuck using various methods, including personal loans, credit cards, CareCredit, or a payment plan with your surgeon.
Be sure to know all costs upfront and research financing options so you can find the most affordable way to cover your tummy tuck costs.