What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure to correct a loose, sagging or protruding abdomen. A tummy tuck removes excess sagging skin and fat and tightens the underlying muscles. Areas to be treated include the lower abdomen and can extend around the sides and all the way to the rib cage and pubic bone. The result is a profile that is smoother and firmer. Many massive weight loss patients have a tummy tuck after bariatric surgery to improve body image for both personal and medical reasons.
Who is a Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck after bariatric surgery is a good option if you are physically healthy and at a stable weight, and do not smoke. You also should have realistic expectations of plastic surgery and be able to afford the hospital and surgeon’s fees. A tummy tuck plastic surgery typically is considered cosmetic and therefore not covered by medical insurance.
Cost of Tummy Tuck after Weight Loss Surgery
The cost of tummy tuck after bariatric surgery ranges from $7-10,000.00. Be sure to understand what services are included in the price that you are quoted. You will need to pay the surgeon’s fee, hospital or surgical facility costs, anesthesia fees, prescriptions and medications, post surgery garments, and medical tests.
Many plastic surgeons offer financing for tummy tuck after weight loss surgery, so be sure to ask. CareCredit is a healthcare financing credit card that offers zero-interest rate financing for plastic surgery with participating plastic surgeons.
In some cases, the patient’s medical insurance may cover a portion of the cost of a tummy tuck after bariatric surgery. Specifically, the insurance may cover a panniculectomy to remove the overhang of skin and fat (sometimes called an “apron”) that drapes over the pubic area on some people. A panniculectomy does not tighten up the abdominal muscles nor does it address any loose skin or excess fat of the upper abdominal area.
In order for medical insurance to cover part of the cost of a tummy tuck after bariatric surgery, the abdominoplasty must be medically necessary. Thusly, certain criteria must be met for the procedure to be deemed medically necessary. Medical necessity might include significant recurrent rashes, chaffing, and infection from skin rubbing against skin, as well as other health conditions that cannot be managed otherwise.
Understanding Tummy Tuck Surgery
A full tummy tuck procedure requires a horizontal incision in the area between the pubic hairline and navel. The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the degree of correction, as well as the plastic surgeon’s technique.
A second incision around the navel allows repositioning of the belly button, as many inches of skin will be removed and the belly button must be relocated. In cases of tummy tuck after gastric band surgery, the port also will be repositioned.
It is critical that the mons pubis (pubic mound) be lifted and the excess removed. Some plastic surgeons do not perform this part of the surgery, and the tummy tuck after bariatric surgery is incomplete without it. Be sure to know exactly what you are getting.
Some plastic surgeons also create a vertical incision up the midline from the pubic bone to the breast bone. This is done to tighten the skin medially.
The abdominal skin is lifted during the surgery, so that the plastic surgeon can access the abdominal wall. Weakened abdominal muscles are repaired and sutured tighter together, while excess fat, tissue and skin are removed. Any hernias will be repaired, too.
What to Expect for Tummy Tuck Results after Bariatric Surgery
An abdominoplasty will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight. Improvement is both functional and aesthetic, and can be quite emotionally rewarding.
The final results may be initially obscured by swelling and an inability to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete. Within a week or two, you should be standing erect again.
I Lost 25-pounds after My Tummy Tuck
My BMI was 31 before my tummy tuck surgery. Then in just four-months following my tummy tuck, I weighed 25 pounds less and lost a total of 19-inches in that region. I went from my size 14 jeans being tight before my tummy tuck to a perfect size 8 jeans afterwards. My tummy tuck results amaze me to this day.
Visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website to view a gallery of before and after photos and to find a certified plastic surgeon. Also, please read my articles, “18 Insider Tips on Plastic Surgery” and “Plastic Surgery after Weight Loss Results.”
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life