Financing cosmetic procedures: Tummy tuck

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An abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a cosmetic surgical procedure typically performed to give patients a firmer, flatter stomach.

During the procedure, the surgeon removes excess skin and fat from the lower and middle abdomen. This tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall, giving the patient a flatter midsection.

Let’s take a look at the details and payment options for the procedure.

Candidates for the procedure

People who have undergone multiple pregnancies or lost a lot of weight, causing loose skin around the belly, are often good candidates for tummy tuck surgery. A tummy tuck will eliminate the issue of loose skin and stubborn fat deposits that might cause feelings of self-consciousness.

If you are considering getting a tummy tuck, it is important that you be in good health and at a stable place with your weight. If you are in the middle of a weight loss journey or have plans to get pregnant, keep the tummy tuck in mind for a later time. Once you’ve reached a place where your weight is stable, then you can move forward with an abdominoplasty.

Procedure options

If you decide to undergo an abdominoplasty, you will need to decide which type of procedure will best suit your needs. Schedule a consultation with your surgeon to talk about your personal goals. The surgeon will likely recommend one of the following procedures:

Mini-tummy tuck: This surgery is used to deal with a pooch or loose skin and stretch marks below the belly button. It is a less-invasive procedure with a quicker recovery time.

Classic or “Full” tummy tuck: This procedure targets roundness and excess skin above and below the belly button. It may involve one or two incisions.

Extended tummy tuck: This procedure is designed for people who have lost a lot of weight and are dealing with excess skin. It is also a good option for people experiencing looseness in their abdominal muscles due to multiple pregnancies. During the procedure, hanging skin from the front and sides of the midsection is removed and the abdominal wall is tightened. The scarring from this procedure is more extensive than other procedures.

Costs associated with a tummy tuck

According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, the cost of abdominoplasty ranges between $4000 and $18,000. Pricing varies based on the procedure you choose, the geographic location of your surgeon and the surgeon’s level of expertise.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a tummy tuck starts at around $6,253. This price, however, is just a baseline. Other factors that influence the cost include anesthesia fees, hospital or surgical facility costs, medical tests, post-surgery garments, prescriptions for medication and the surgeon’s fee.

Paying for the procedure

A tummy tuck is considered a cosmetic procedure, so most health insurance providers will not cover it. However, there are other financing options.

Credit card

One payment possibility is to put your abdominoplasty on your credit card. But there are a few factors you should consider.

First, you’ll want to make sure that you have enough credit to cover all or a good portion of the procedure. The next factor is a low interest rate, which should be lower than other financing options. To maximize your credit card possibilities, you can also open a card that offers a zero percent introductory interest rate.

Finally, consider any added benefits that paying with a card could provide. Will you be getting cash back or rewards for doing so? That may further incentivize using a card over other payment options.

Personal loan

A personal loan is an unsecured loan paid for a fixed amount in one lump sum. These kinds of loans are meant to help pay for large purchases with no collateral attached. Interest rates are determined by your credit score and annual income. They can be as low as 5.95 percent if you have good to excellent credit.

Patient financing plan

Many surgeons will offer patients the ability to take on payment plans for their abdominoplasties. One of the most commonly-used financing tools is called CreditCare. CreditCare is a healthcare credit card accepted by over 200,000 healthcare providers in the US. You can check their online database to see if your surgeon accepts CreditCare. This service comes with a standard APR of around 26.99 percent, though rates vary between individual accounts.

Bottom line

For many people, undergoing a cosmetic procedure like a tummy tuck may help give a confidence boost. If you are thinking about an abdominoplasty, make sure you do your research on which procedure will work best for you, surgeons in your area who will best fit your needs and the payment options that will allow you to pay for your procedure while taking on minimal debt.