Can A Tummy Tuck and Hysterectomy Be Done At The Same Time?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’m going to have a hysterectomy and wanted to have a tummy tuck done at the same time and heard this may be possible. Two questions, what is your experience in doing this combination and how do you go about arranging for an Ob-Gyn to do the procedure? Also, what is the average cost for a tummy tuck although I know each patient is different.

A: The combination of a tummy tuck with a hysterectomy is the most classic and commonly performed cosmetic/reconstructive surgery combination. There is no question about the efficiency of the hysterectomy/tummy tuck combo and the convenience of the recovery. Many times the patient’s Ob-Gyn has a working relationship with a plastic surgeon so the coordination of the combination procedure is easy. Conversely, most plastic surgeons know Ob-Gyns they can refer you to if you do not have one that can work in the same facility. That is the first hurdle, getting an Ob-Gyn and a plastic surgeon who have operating privileges in the same location. Since this involves a hysterectomy and an overnight stay (at least), the facility will need to be a hospital and not an outpatient surgery center.

Despite these procedures commonly being done together, it is important today to look at the economics of this surgical combination. While in days gone by the costs of the use of a hospital operating room and anesthesia were largely ignored and rolled into the insurance coverage of the hysterectomy, that is no longer true. That approach is both fraudulent and unaccepted by hospitals today. Therefore, a tummy tuck with a hysterectomy is going to incur more costs than just the plastic surgeon’s fee alone. The hospital is going to ask for operating room and anesthesia fees incurred by the tummy tuck to be paid beforehand. With the high costs of hospital care today, it would be very important to look at the total expense of the tummy tuck when performed in a hospital setting. In the past few years, despite the convenience of putting these two procedures together, I have seen patients opt to separate them to save significant costs. Tummy tucks performed in outpatient surgery centers are almost always less costly then when done in the hospital. How much difference there might be depends on the specific hospital and if they have reasonable flat fee rates for cosmetic surgery in place.  

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana