When it comes to choosing the provider who will perform your tummy tuck procedure, cost is a factor to consider, but it is important to evaluate exactly what you will be getting for the price you are paying. A tummy tuck procedure is major surgery that involves numerous components to achieve high-quality aesthetic results and the safest possible outcome for the patient. These elements will be reflected in the price you pay, so be wary of using cost as the sole criteria that influences your decision. A reputable, skilled plastic surgeon will not cut corners to save costs at the expense of compromising your health and aesthetic results.
Because only 20 states require doctors who perform surgery in their offices to have facilities that are licensed or accredited — a measure which indicates adequate emergency equipment and procedural protocols are in place, and the doctor is properly trained in the procedures he performs — some non-plastic surgeons who desire to avoid these stringent standards can easily do so by setting up shop in a state that offers little oversight. In this way, they are able to avoid scrutiny of their qualifications and facilities and pass along the savings in the form of lower priced procedures to patients, who may not realize the risks these “cost-saving measures” potentially pose to their safety and results.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Chris Patronella said, “A proper tummy tuck requires a significant amount of skill to perform. Cost is an understandably important consideration to weigh in making the decision to pursue cosmetic plastic surgery. But if the price of having a well-done procedure is prohibitive, it would be best to either reconsider or wait to have it done until it is feasible.”
In assessing the value of the procedure cost, carefully research the following important aspects:
The qualifications of the provider
Because state laws are lax in regulating who can perform cosmetic plastic surgery — in most states, any licensed doctor regardless of his training and qualifications can legally call himself a cosmetic surgeon and perform these procedures — it is incumbent on prospective patients to research the qualifications of a provider. Shrinking insurance payments to physicians coupled with the rising popularity of cosmetic plastic surgery procedures have led an increasing number of doctors trained in areas such as pediatrics, podiatry, family medicine, and even dentistry to assume the mantle of “cosmetic surgeon” and offer breast augmentation, tummy tucks, liposuction and other procedures which they may be poorly qualified to perform. While no surgery is risk free, choosing a surgeon who has the knowledge, training, and experience to perform plastic surgery procedures safely and skillfully greatly increases the likelihood of receiving a successful outcome.
Numerous board certifications of varying standards exist, so it is important to delve beyond the title “board certified” next to a doctor’s name to find out exactly which board certification a provider has received. Make sure the surgeon you choose is a plastic surgeon board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery — the only board for this specific specialty that is accredited by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), an organization which is nationally recognized for its high standards. This signifies the doctor has completed at least five years of intensive surgical training after graduating from medical school — including a minimum of two years devoted exclusively to plastic surgery — and has passed comprehensive written and oral exams.
You can find out if a physician is board certified and in what specific specialty by going to the website, www.certificationmatters.org.
The quality of the surgeon’s work
In addition to browsing through the physician’s gallery of before and after tummy tuck photos, recommendations based upon patient reviews and from trusted physicians, friends, and family members are helpful to determine a physician’s skillfulness at providing high-quality aesthetic results.
The level of care you receive before, during, and after your surgery
Dr. Patronella takes a comprehensive approach in caring for the needs and comfort of his patients in order to make each person’s experience smooth and positive from the initial consultation through the postoperative recovery period.
Patients have surgery at Dr. Patronella’s private surgery center, which is licensed by the Texas Department of Health and certified by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAASF) — an organization whose stringent requirements for equipment, operating room safety, personnel and surgeon credentials are considered the gold standard for ambulatory surgical facilities. He uses only board certified anesthesiologists to administer anesthesia and monitor patients, and, while in the surgery center, patients have a registered nurse who stays with them at all times.
The fee for a tummy tuck procedure with Dr. Patronella includes all of the costs associated with the procedure along with many special extras that Dr. Patronella incorporates as part of an “Added Touch” program he helped develop to support the healing, recovery, and well-being of his patients. The price includes:
• Surgeon’s fee
• Anesthesiologist’s fee
• Surgical facility fee
• Pain Pump to alleviate discomfort during recovery
• Compression garments
• Overnight stay in one of the surgery center’s four private postoperative recovery suites, where patients are carefully monitored by Dr. Patronella’s caring, highly-trained and experienced staff of registered nurses
• A home visit on the day following surgery from a certified medical professional who monitors recovery, changes dressings, assists with medications, and provides Dr. Patronella with an update on an individual’s recovery from surgery.
• Supplemental vitamins
• Post-surgical therapeutic massage with a licensed massage therapist
• A microdermabrasion or chemical peel skin care treatment to improve the skin’s tone and texture
Each component that comprises the cost has been included in order to optimize the aesthetic outcome, safety, comfort, and recovery of patients to provide them with an exceptional level of service and attentiveness. This provides an invaluable source of reassurance and comfort to patients, who appreciate the comprehensive attention to every detail of their care to ensure they have an experience that is as satisfying and rewarding as the new look they receive.