Is It Worth It to Have a Tummy Tuck?
When you’re considering any elective medical procedure, you need to know the risks, and weigh them against the benefits. The choice of whether or not to have elective surgery is very personal, and every person will make their choice differently. Here, we’ll discuss the major risks and benefits of having a tummy tuck. If you want to learn more about what the procedure and the recovery are like, please visit Tummy Tuck: the Procedure and Recovery.
Please note that this page is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for qualified, individualized medical advice. You should discuss your potential elective surgery with your own doctor(s), including your primary care physician and the surgeon who will perform your surgery if you decide to proceed.
Any surgery has risks, and they should be carefully weighed before you decide to proceed. There is a chance of infection, particularly an infection of the incisions, which may require antibiotics and may also lead to a less aesthetically-pleasing result. There is also a chance of excessive bleeding during the surgery, which occasionally requires a blood transfusion. Some people react badly to anesthesia. There is a small risk of death due to any surgery. Although it’s important to be informed, these risks are small in most healthy people; talk with your surgeon to determine your personal risk.
There is also some risk that you won’t be happy with your tummy tuck result. The surgeon may tighten the skin of your abdomen too much, which could be uncomfortable, or not enough, which wouldn’t achieve your goals. By choosing a good surgeon, who listens to you and tries to understand your goals, you decrease the risk that you won’t like your result. There is also the risk that your tummy tuck won’t last, although this procedure usually provides a long-lived result. Sometimes, the abdominal muscles separate again later, particularly if the muscles are weak; you can minimize this risk with appropriate exercise that works both your abdominal and back muscles to balance the body. If you gain weight later, the skin of your abdomen may be stretched out again, so you’ll want to maintain a healthy lifestyle to maintain your tummy tuck results.
A woman’s body changes dramatically during pregnancy. Many women experience separation of the abdominal muscles that doesn’t fully resolve after the baby is born. Even if the woman loses her “baby weight,” her abdomen may still have a soft, rounded appearance, no matter how many core workouts she does. A tummy tuck can restore the flat abdomen she had before her pregnancy.
Many people who lose a significant amount of weight (through bariatric surgery or other means) find that they have excess baggy skin remaining after the weight loss. The problem is often worst in the abdominal region, because this is the place where overweight people usually have the most excess fat. Having invested so much time and energy to lose weight, people would like their body to reflect their efforts with a toned, flat abdomen. Additionally, the extra skin on the abdomen may be so extreme that the skin rubs against itself, causing rashes and sores. A tummy tuck can remove the excess skin, bringing relief from the rashes and allowing the person to experience renewed confidence and finally enjoy their newly thin body.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fee for a tummy tuck is $5,217. This varies between surgeons and in different regions, so check with the surgeon you’re considering to find out the exact price. Additional costs, including the anesthesia, operating room fees, medications, and possibly additional items, may not be included in this fee. For more detail, please see our Tummy Tuck Costs page.