Category Archives: Hospitals

Cost of the Tummy Tuck Pain Pump

on-q pain pump

Price of the Pain Pump used for Tummy Tucks

Cash prices vary, and they can be different than insurance prices for Pain Pumps.  One of the hospitals in Modesto, Stanislaus Surgical Hospital has recently quoted us $160.00 (in 2013) for the On-Q PainBuster Post-Op Pain Relief System.  This price was just updated and verified for June 2013 – please call for updated prices!.  Please check with us for more specific prices.  They will probably tend to go up with inflation, but this price will serve as a rough guideline.  For our plastic surgical practice in Modesto, CA, this is a pass through directly to the patient without any mark up from us.  We are happy to implant this pain pump for you after the surgery and you will discuss this in detail at your Tummy Tuck consultation with Dr. Tammy Wu if you were to become a patient of ours.

What are these pain pumps?

They are small external pumps filled with pain medicine such as marcaine or lidocaine with a tubing that goes through the skin and into the painful incisions and muscle tightening areas of the tummy tuck surgery.  The exit site of this pump is very similar to the drains which my be placed with Tummy Tuck surgery.  These pain pumps are made by various companies.  On-Q PainBuster is one of the brands of pain pumps which we use.  These pain pumps are also used after other surgeries.  They are not specific to tummy tuck surgery.

Size of the pain pump?

The size of the pain pump is about the size of a single fist.  Most of the time there is a pouch with a zipper that hides it all and it is battery operated.

When is the pain pump removed after Tummy Tuck Surgery?

It is usually empty after about 4 days.  This gives you added support to your pain management for about 4 days after your tummy tuck procedure.

Dr. Tammy Wu & Dr. Calvin Lee.   Surgical Artistry, Modesto, CA. (209) 551-1888

Dr. Tammy Wu & Dr. Calvin Lee.
Surgical Artistry, Modesto, CA.
(209) 551-1888

Muscle Tightening with Full Tummy Tuck

The purpose of this page is to discuss in some introductory detail about the muscle tightening option portion of a Tummy Tuck procedure.  For most plastic surgery patients, this is considered a crucial part of a Tummy Tuck, according to Dr. Tammy Wu, Modesto Plastic Surgeon.

Before discussing muscle tightening, let’s discuss some anatomical features of the anterior part of the abdomen.


Rectus Abdominus Muscle

  • This is the muscle that runs up and down the front of the abdomen
  • When very toned, it gives a person a “6-pack” or some other variable number.
  • It is separated by a thin fascia (sometimes known as the linea alba) that connects the left and right sides of this muscle.

Rectus Diastasis

  • Sometimes this thin fascia in the middle of the Rectus Abdominus Muscle (Linea Alba) can start to separate due to pregnancy or being over weight.
  • This is not a hernia
  • It is sometimes thought to be a hernia.  Detailed surgical examination, physical exam, patient surgical history and radiological studies can sometimes help us determine if it’s a hernia or rectus diastasis.   We consider a hernia a medical problem, but a rectus diastasis to be cosmetic issue.

Muscle Tightening of the Rectus Abdominus Muscle

  • This is commonly done with a Tummy Tuck.
  • Involves bringing the muscle closer together on the midline – called plication.
  • Various methods are used with sutures.
  • We prefer interrupted, separate sutures which are of a permanent material, but soft.
  • The plication occurs for the entire length (vertically – up and down) of the abdomen in the middle.
  • No separate skin incision is needed for this.  Through the lower incision used in the Tummy Tuck (left and right / horizontal) incision, we dissect through that incision to be able to reach all the way up to nearly the xiphoid process, which is the bottom of the chest bone (sternum).
  • There is no entry into the abdominal cavity (peritoneum) with these sutures.  It’s just in the muscle layer only.

Muscle Tightening narrows the abdominal girth in the middle of the abdomen

  • It gives more of that hour glass shape
  • Muscle tightening is not part of a panniculectomy procedure (which is a “tummy tuck  – like” procedure that simply removes the skin and fat tissue).
  • But muscle tightening is certainly an option considered in Tummy Tuck procedure.

Post Operative Discomfort

  • It does add to some more post operative discomfort, but we like to recommend that patients have us use a disposable pain pump to conteract the possible added discomfort with muscle tightening
  • The pain pump is available, usually for a separate cost, paid directly to our Modesto Area Hospitals which we currently operate in.
  • Most of our Tummy Tucks in Modesto, CA are with the muscle tightening procedure option.
Dr. Tammy Wu & Dr. Calvin Lee.   Surgical Artistry, Modesto, CA. (209) 551-1888

Dr. Tammy Wu & Dr. Calvin Lee.
Surgical Artistry, Modesto, CA.
(209) 551-1888

Modesto Hospitals where we perform Tummy Tuck Surgeries

a doctors medical center modesto front entrance with flag IMG_9605

Modesto Area Hospitals for our Tummy Tuck Surgeries

We perform our Tummy Tuck surgeries at hospitals.  And most of them are outpatient procedures – meaning that patients go home the same day.

These costs for the facility (hospital) fee and the anesthesia fees are passed through to our patients without any markups from us.  In fact the patients usually pay the facility and the anesthesiologists directly.  The patients choose their facilities and there are different prices set by these facilities.  Our surgeons fees however, remain the same regardless of location.  For more information about the cost of Tummy Tuck surgeries, please follow the link.

If a patient requests to stay overnight, arrangements can be made at the hospitals.  Stanislaus Surgical Hospital has been the choice of most of our patients who choose to stay overnight, and the special tummy tuck over night rate is that of a high end hotel.

Pictured above is Doctor’s Medical Center in Modesto, CA.  Dr. Tammy Wu, Modesto plastic surgeon, has operative privileges at these hospitals listed above.

Dr. Tammy Wu on Google+