Q: Dr. Eppley, I am looking into on behalf of my fiancé a tummy tuck. She has had two babies and has a bit of loose skin on her stomach that really gets to her. She wants it removed along with the stretch marks. We are just wondering roughly how much this would cost?
A: There are numerous types of tummy tucks based on the length of the incision, how large a segment of skin and fat is removed and whether it includes liposuction of areas beyond that of the excisional tissue removal. These different types of tummy tucks involve variable amounts of time to perform and this will affect the overall costs of the procedure. This creates a potential range of tummy tuck costs anywhere from $4500 to $8500. Obviously the bigger the type of tummy tuck needed the longer it takes to perform and the more it will cost.
Stretch marks will only be removed if they lie within the zone of tissue excision. Since the vast majority of stretch marks usually emanate in a radiating pattern from the umbilicus, those that lie above it and beyond it will remain. Full tummy tucks remove more stretch marks than limited or mini- type tummy tucks.
Dr. Barry Eppley
Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in more information on tummy tucks and mommy make-overs for my wife. I think she looks fine, but it would make her feel better about herself if she had a procedure done. So I am taking the first step for her. Please send us more information on the matter and costs. Thank you.
A: The term Mommy Makeover usually refers to a combination breast reshaping and tummy tuck procedure. You have only mentioned a tummy tuck so I am not sure if you mean a breast procedure as well. Knowing whether it is one or both procedures will have an obvious impact on the cost. If you can clarify that issue for me that would be helpful in answering your questions.
In addition, tummy tucks come in two basic varieties in being a more limited or full tummy tuck. Many tummy tucks, regardless of the type, may also include liposuction of the flanks to get a better effect around the waistline into the back. Where your wife falls in regards to these tummy tuck options would be helped be either seeing a picture of tummy or an actual in-office consultation. But for the sake of providing some price information, I will have my assistant forward you a cost quote for a full tummy tuck with flank liposuction so at least you can see the maximal cost that it would be.
Dr. Barry Eppley
Q: Dr. Eppley, How long does it take to heal from a tummy tuck? What is the success rate to keep the contour? How much does the procedure cost?
A: Recovery from a tummy tuck depends on how you want to view the concept of recovery. To be 100% full recovered (feeling like before the surgery and doing all normal and strenuous activities), it will take a full 6 weeks. If you are talking about returning to work in a sitdown job, it will be closer to 10 days. Returning to a more strenuous job will be closer to three weeks. Up and about after surgery around the house will be a few days.
The success of tummy tucks in terms of long-term contour preservation is actually pretty good. The excess or loose skin is never going to return provided one does not get pregnant again, which is the primary skin-stretching mechanism for most women. (extreme weight loss is the other) One can thicken up the fat layer around the trunk and waistline based on one’s weight and diet. I have seen that in a few patients over the years. It all depends on the stability of one’s weight and the type of body build one has.
There are different forms of tummy tucks that may or may not include liposuction. For the sake of simplicity, I would look at the concept of a full tummy tuck with flank liposuction which is the most commonly performed one. As an out patient procedure this more complete tummy tuck is in the range of $6500 to $7500, all costs included. This is an approximation and may change based on an actual examination of the patient.
Dr. Barry Eppley