How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost in NYC?

Cost is one of the largest contributing factors in the decision for someone to pursue cosmetic surgery. Price can often be an important differentiating factor to consider when comparing surgeons. A surgeon’s expertise specific to the procedure you are interested in, the quality of their results, and photos demonstrating high-quality results can often be reflected in a higher price. If a particular surgeon is more expensive but you appreciate their opinion and results more than another, speak with their office coordinator to review payment options. Be very wary of free consultations as these are often not thorough enough for the provider to give you a full education on a procedure. Proper knowledge is essential for making an appropriate, informed decision regarding surgery.  Prices range from $18,000 on the very low end, to above $30,000 for very experienced high-quality surgeons on Park Avenue.

What Impacts the Cost of a Tummy Tuck?

The cost of a tummy tuck procedure can vary depending on several factors. One major factor would be geography. The larger the city (New York City for example), the greater the density of plastic surgeons. Board-certified plastic surgeons look to stand out by obtaining the highest level of training available within their field. A surgeon with advanced training and a well-established practice will often be more costly than a junior surgeon without the same credentials. Many warm-weather cities are known for offering inexpensive plastic surgery. While there are qualified providers in those places, it is important to research the implications of seeking surgery away from home – downtime, hotel/travel expenses, and what would happen in the case of any complication. Another aspect of surgery that can affect the cost is the associated surgical center and anesthesia fees. These are usually billed based on time in surgery, so how effectively a surgeon can achieve the desired result within a certain time constraint is a consideration. The average, uncomplicated tummy tuck typically takes around three to four hours. Lastly, the type of practice the plastic surgeon maintains can affect cost. For example, a surgeon seeing many more patients within a given day with less time and attention per patient can charge less due to volume. In this case, patients may often be seen by a lower-level provider (PA, RN) for many of their post-operative follow-up visits. On the contrary, some surgeons prefer to minimize patient overload to allow each patient a large amount of individualized care, and that type of extra attention comes at a higher cost. 

Does Insurance Cover Tummy Tuck Surgery?

While a Tummy Tuck in and of itself is considered a cosmetic procedure, there are patient-specific elements that may be reimbursable by insurance if deemed medically necessary. These are limited to most abdominal hernias and some scar revisions. It is important to understand the nuances of insurance such as in-network vs out of network providers, payment schedules, and how your surgeon will plan to bill the insurance company. Insurance companies can also review claims within a certain time after surgery and recuperate any funds paid that are subsequently deemed frivolous. If you have questions about insurance coverage for any component of your Tummy Tuck surgery, discuss them with your surgeon’s coordinator. Never agree to proceed with surgery without being ready and able to pay for the full quoted amount, in the event of a billing dispute with the insurance company.

What Does Tummy Tuck Surgery Involve?

It may surprise you, but your belly button is key to deciding what type of abdominoplasty procedure you need.

Patients who have sagging skin and excess fat both above and below the belly button need a traditional tummy tuck, which requires a hip-to-hip incision across the lower abdomen (below the bikini line) and another around the belly button, allowing it to be repositioned after extra skin is removed.  For patients who have sagging skin and excess fat only below the belly button, Dr. Maman may recommend a more limited tummy tuck or a “mini” tummy tuck. Mini tummy tucks use a slightly smaller incision above the pubic bone. Whether or not the incision needs to be deep enough to provide access to the abdominal muscles is determined by whether or not there is diastasis recti or a hernia involved.

Liposuction is used in tandem with a tummy tuck procedure to remove localized fat packets. For some patients, liposuction alone may be enough to achieve the desired results. For patients with loose or hanging skin, however, liposuction alone is often not enough.

One note — a tummy tuck is not the same as a weight loss procedure and is generally most effective if you are at or close to your ideal weight. While abdominoplasty can deliver long-term results, post-operative weight gain or pregnancy can lessen the effect.

Benefits of Tummy Tuck Surgery

A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat, improves the appearance of stretch marks, and repairs loose abdominal muscles resulting from pregnancy, dramatic weight loss, or aging.

Stomach bulges can be caused by unyielding fat deposits, excess skin, and damaged stomach rectus muscles resulting from significant weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and the decrease of collagen and skin elasticity that is part of the natural aging process. Lower abdominal bulges are famously frustrating for their resistance to diet and exercise. Even patients who regularly exercise and maintain a healthy diet can still fail to see their desired results.

Pregnancy and major weight gain can stretch the abdominal wall muscles until the connective tissue holding the vertical stomach muscles together, the Linea Alba, is damaged or torn, resulting in a bulge or gap down the midline of the abdomen. A tummy tuck surgery closes this gap by suturing the two rectus muscles together, resulting in a well-contoured stomach.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Maman

The first step to schedule a consultation would be doing thorough research. There are many ways to find a plastic surgeon. Arguably the best way would be to receive a referral from another physician, such as primary care, dermatologist, or OB-GYN. These providers often see multiple patients with good results and can attest to those by referring their patients somewhere. Friends are a secondarily good referral source, especially if they are patients themselves. When it comes to advertising, the most essential consideration is the plastic surgeon’s education, board certification ONLY by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and before/after gallery. If those components match your desired outcome, then they would be a good source of information to seek in consultation. You will often come across taglines such as “no downtime surgery” or “no anesthesia required”. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are no shortcuts to SAFE plastic surgery.

The next step would be contacting the office of a board-certified plastic surgeon to find a time to meet them. First impressions last a lifetime, so pay attention when speaking to the receptionist upon calling. Should you decide to have surgery, this is the team you will be dealing with multiple times per month for at least a year. The administrative team directly reflects the surgeon’s ways of working. Another thing to clarify would be a potential timeline for surgery. This is sometimes best done before reaching out to qualified providers because they are booked one to six months out, on average. Knowing well enough in advance will give you adequate time to interview surgeons, get any preoperative lab work done, and feel confident moving forward with your scheduled procedure.