University of Virginia Plastic Surgery
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue 4th Floor
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Phone: (434) 924-1234
Location Hours: Monday–Friday | 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Tummy Tuck 101: Answering Your Questions About Cost, Pain & More

Side view of woman wearing black underwear showing her toned abdomen

Tummy tuck surgery is known for its ability to tone and contour the midsection. However, it is also a fairly intensive procedure with a significant recovery time. Because of this, many people want to know as much as possible before they commit to a tummy tuck here in the Richmond area.

In this blog post, I will answer a few of the most commonly asked tummy tuck questions to help you feel more confident scheduling your consultation.

What does a tummy tuck do?

A tummy tuck creates a flatter, firmer midsection and addresses many of the cosmetic concerns caused by pregnancy and weight loss. It removes excess skin and tightens the remaining skin and muscle using an incision made low on the abdomen between the hipbones. Most people choose to combine their tummy tuck with circumferential trunk liposuction to remove excess fat and achieve more complete abdominal contouring results.

Will a tummy tuck help me lose weight?

Like other body contouring procedures, a tummy tuck is not intended for weight loss. In fact, it’s typically most effective at or near the end of a weight loss journey to remove the loose skin weight loss often leaves behind. It’s also especially popular for tightening the stretched skin and muscles caused by pregnancy. Learn more about post-pregnancy tummy tucks in this related blog post.

How much does a tummy tuck cost?

The average cost of a tummy tuck in the U.S. is $8,250, with a price range of $3,175 to $13,250, as reported by real patients on Many different factors affect the cost of a tummy tuck, including the complexity of your procedure, your surgeon’s level of expertise, where your surgery is performed, and whether you choose to combine it with other procedures. You will be given a personalized cost estimate after your consultation so you know what to expect.

Because tummy tucks are considered elective cosmetic procedures, they are not typically covered by insurance. However, financing options through CareCredit® can make your surgery more affordable. Learn more about our financial policies.

How painful is a tummy tuck?

Some post-op discomfort is normal in the days following your surgery, but pain medications will help keep this to a minimum. At UVA Plastic Surgery, we use anatomic nerve blocks and non-narcotic IV medications during surgery to keep you comfortable afterward. Most people find their results are well worth the initial few days of discomfort.

How long is tummy tuck recovery?

Most people feel back to normal in a week or 2 and are ready to return to office work and non-strenuous activities within 3 weeks. More strenuous exercise, especially core workouts, will take a bit longer. With your surgeon’s clearance, you may gradually return to exercise after about 4 to 6 weeks.

To see examples of the results you can expect after a tummy tuck, please visit our before-and-after photo gallery.

If you would like to learn more about your plastic surgery options in the Richmond area, please contact us online or call (434) 924-1234 (Charlottesville) or (540) 932-5771 (Fishersville).

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