Tummy Tuck: Cosmetic Surgery or Reconstruction?
Perhaps you’re longing to get a tummy tuck but you’ve never thought of yourself as the cosmetic surgery “type.” You really shouldn’t spend money on such a thing, you might believe. “It’s not necessary,” you may think.
Strictly speaking, abdominoplasty is not necessary. That’s why it is considered cosmetic surgery, and it’s a rare person who can talk their insurance company into paying for it. But as we discuss with our New York tummy tuck patients, abdominoplasty surgery is as much a reconstructive procedure as it is cosmetic.
Abdominoplasty After Pregnancy
After bearing children, most of our New York tummy tuck patients benefit from abdominoplasty that includes “the works.” Key to the procedure is repairing “diastasis recti,” or separation of the abdominal muscles. According to Web MD, about two-thirds of pregnant women experience muscle separation. Some see the gap rebound at least to some extent after pregnancy, but especially for those who have had multiple pregnancies, pregnancies close together and larger babies, muscle separation remains and causes a tummy pooch.
Some women who work hard to regain a flat torso after bearing children will tell you that none of their efforts made the difference they were hoping for. For these patients, abdominoplasty that includes suturing the weakened muscles back together is the answer. Similarly, skin that has stretched through pregnancy bounces back for some women, but not all. That’s why tummy tuck surgeries almost always include removing redundant skin. Finally, liposuction often puts the finishing touches on abdominoplasty. No matter how hard women work to keep in shape during childbearing years, stray fat deposits often show up and stay. The cannula comes in handy for removing them during a tummy tuck.
Tummy Tuck Surgery After Weight Loss
If you have lost a significant amount of weight, there are several techniques available to resculpt your torso. When you’re at or near your normal weight, visit an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon to understand the options for reconstruction.
For many of our post weight loss patients in New York, tummy tuck surgery is high on the priority list. Weight gain and loss stresses the abdomen in ways similar to pregnancy, and many patients need some combination of muscle repair, skin removal and liposuction.
Some men and women need an extended tummy tuck that reaches around the body. This procedure can also be referred to as a circumferential abdominoplasty and as a body lift. Through the extensive incisions, muscle repair can be performed as well as liposuction. In addition, as stretched skin is removed, the lower body can actually be lifted back into place. This has a positive impact on hips and thighs that have experienced sagging.
Though tummy tuck variations can reconstruct important areas of the body after weight loss, most insurance companies still consider the surgeries to be cosmetic. You got it—most carriers won’t cover them.
A few of our New York tummy tuck patients don’t need an extensive procedure after losing weight. Some people’s chief issue is a log flap of sagging skin that remains hanging down toward—or even over—the genitals or all the way to the upper thighs. This flap is called a “pannus” – Latin for “apron;” the procedure to remove it is called a “panniculectomy.” You may be a candidate if your muscles remain in good shape, and surprisingly, if you can document ongoing health issues from the flap of skin (such as chronic rashes), you may even persuade your insurance company to cover surgery.
The Way We See It
Whether your belly bummer is due to pregnancy or significant weight loss, we congratulate you! Both are important milestones that change a person’s life. People don’t usually regret welcoming a new child into the world or achieving better health by dropping pounds, no matter what comes along with these events. The fact that your abdomen bears the brunt of physical changes involved is not your fault, and if you are near an ideal weight, there’s probably nothing more you can do to fix your tummy.
That’s why 97% of moms and weight loss patients on RealSelf are so elated about their abdominoplasty results. And that’s why we don’t view tummy tuck surgery as “unnecessary” as most insurance companies do. You deserve to have your body back, and we can help.
Send us an email to find out more about New York tummy tuck surgery. We’ll be glad to hear from you.