There are several instances in which excision of abdominal skin is covered. Certainly there is no coverage for purely cosmetic tummy-tuck surgery. Patients who have undergone massive weight-loss and are troubled by constant recurrent skin infections and irritation under the abdominal skin flap that results (called pannus), may be covered. The concomitant presence of hernia and or abdominal wall weakness may be covered as well.
How long do the results of a tummy-tuck last?
The results of abdominoplasty surgery are less dependent on gravity, and more on maintenance of ideal weight, or in the very least the stable weight at which the abdominoplasty was performed. Gaining weight will not only add unwanted adipose tissue but also stretch out abdominal skin, in essence partially reversing the intent of the original surgery, not to mention the havoc weight gain can wreak on abdominoplasty incisions. Ideally, one tummy-tuck surgery should be all you need.
Is seroma formation common after tummy-tuck surgery?
Although it is the most common complication of an abdominoplasty, seroma formation is more of a nuisance than a serious problem in the majority of cases. It may occur in as many as 15% of abdominoplasty patients. Seroma formation is a result of fluid accumulation as your body attempts to fill a potential space. Most seromae resolve with only a few drainage attempts, without an incision. In cases where post-abdominoplasty seromae fail to resolve, lining of the fluid pocket needs to be excised because this is what makes the fluid.
Am I a good candidate for a tummy-tuck or an abdominoplasty?
There are three factors to consider, your overall health status, your post-operative goals, and your willingness to be pro-active in the recovery process. It is dangerous to perform any procedure on any patient unfit to undergo general anesthesia, but it is downright foolish to perform an elective cosmetic procedure on such a patient. Patients with heart disease, breathing difficulties, kidney insufficiency, and any other serious medical condition should obtain “clearance” before surgery to make sure they are not putting themselves at an unacceptable risk. Smoking patients should quit for at least a month before undergoing abdominoplasty. It goes without saying that psychological stability is a prerequisite. Women who are of child-bearing age should have had all of the off-spring they were going to have at the time of surgery. This is necessary for two reasons. First, pregnancy after an abdominoplasty will stretch the scar, making it unsightly. Second, pregnancy after a tummy-tuck may re-stretch abdominal skin making it necessary to repeat the surgery. For similar reasons, if you have been losing weight, you must be at your target weight, as any weight-loss will necessitate re-operation. Apart from doubling the cost of this particular surgery, it will expose you to the risk of general anesthesia for a second time, unnecessarily. In terms of postoperative expectations, a good candidate would be very clear about their desires and plainly state what they expect the tummy-tuck to achieve. If surgeon does not know what the goal is, how can he or she work toward it? It is unreasonable to expect this surgery to be a substitute for fat-loss or to complement a poorly completed weight-loss regimen. It is very reasonable to expect an excellent result if you are at target weight and have much excess skin and rectus abdominis muscles that are diastatic (split in the middle), with a bulge that is unrelated to subcutaneous fat. Finally, you must be prepared to work through some discomfort and resume normal activities of daily living early on to help prevent some of the more common surgical complications associated with any surgery.
What is an abdominoplasty?
An abdominoplasty, otherwise known as a tummy-tuck, is an operation that addresses three unfavorable characteristics of the aging, post-partum, or post-weight-loss abdomen; extra skin, lax abdominal musculature, and to a lesser degree remaining focal fat deposits. Extra skin is excised, to the extent that safe closure can be performed, abdominal muscles are tightened in the midline, re-establishing tautness and bringing in the waistline, and leftover fat on the abdominal underside is removed.
What is a tummy-tuck?
A tummy-tuck, otherwise known as abdominoplasty, is an operation that addresses three unfavorable characteristics of the aging, post-partum, or post-weightloss abdomen; extra skin, lax abdominal musculature, and to a lesser degree remaining focal fat deposits. Extra skin is excised, to the extent that safe closure can be performed, abdominal muscles are tightened in the midline, re-establishing taughtness and bringing in the waistline, and leftover fat on the abdominal underside is removed.