Submit your question below about any cosmetic procedure to be considered for posting with an answer from one of our board-certified plastic surgeons.

If your question is about the cost of a procedure, click here. For referral to a qualified surgeon in your area, see find a surgeon.

Note: ASAPS cannot give advice about specific medical problems nor should answers provided by responding surgeons be substituted for a complete medical history, work-up and an in-personal medical/surgical consultation. Sorry we can't answer all questions. We try to select questions that have the widest general interest.

Can a Tummy Tuck reduce back, shoulder, chest and abdominal pain?

Q:

Before getting pregnant two years ago I weighed 182 pounds (I am 5'4" tall).  I had prior back issues due to my work.  After giving birth to twins, I weighed 215 pounds and was having more frequent back pain which I thought came from the pregnancy.  Due to the persisting pain after giving birth, my doctor advised me that if I lost weight from my abdominal area and did some abdominal exercises, the pain in my back would be reduced.  I had been working hard to get the weight off and had gotten down to 162 pounds. I was still having severe back pain, sharp and piercing (it feels as if there is a string pulling my back through my abdominal area).  I've been given a few different abdominal garments to help with the drastic drag of my abdomen from my c-section.  They are supposed to help lift the weight up to reduce the pulling and alleviate the back pain and help me to stand up straight.  The garments have not helped.  I now weigh 150 pounds and it seems that the more weight that I lose, the worse my pain is.  Due to the extra hang of my abdomen, my chest and shoulders sometimes get strained.  I recently saw a plastic surgeon and was advised that a tummy tuck will help solve the pain that I am experiencing due to the weight in my abdomen.  When you look at me I look pretty fit and toned, but when I stand up my lower abdomen touches my thighs.  I am only 25 years old and I am afraid that if I lose any more weight that my pain will worsen.  Is a tummy tuck the way to go?  If so, is there a way that my medical insurance will cover the cost of the procedure?  What about my having a panniculectomy?  Please advise me on this and offer any other solutions that will help reduce my pain and the hanging of my abdomen.

A:

At 150 pounds you are only 10 pounds from an ideal weight, and some of this can be eliminated with the abdominal surgery.  Whether removing the panniculus will reduce or eliminate the pain is impossible to say.  However, if the tissue is hanging to your thighs, you may get rid of enough to make a significant difference in your symptoms.  Whether you have a Pannuiculectomy or Abdominoplasty is up to you.  The Panniculectomy is a purely reconstructive procedure and removes only the excess skin and nothing else.  It also, frequently, in someone like you with as much extra skin as you have, removes the umbilicus. Your insurance company may pay for this.  The only way to find out is to inquire using the diagnoses of your problems and the proposed procedure.  An Abdominoplasty removes the excess tissue, reconstructs the umbilicus, and tightens the muscle, thus thinning the waist. Although, tightening the muscle may also help improve the symptoms, no insurance company pays for this. Occasionally, you can get your insurance company to pay for the Panniculectomy and you can pay for the difference between it and the Abdominoplasty.

A:

You are at around your ideal weight.  After losing that amount of weight you probably have significant excess skin and fat as a panniculus.  It can contribute to the pain.  However, at this stage I do recommend seeing a back specialist to make sure that the pain or part of it is not because of a back problem.

Some insurance MAY cover a panniculectomy, which is really an amputation of the excess skin and fat, regardless of the final cosmetic outcome. I t does not reposition the belly button nor does it allow for the repair of the muscles; that becomes a COSMETIC ABDOMINOPLASTY.

You have to check with your insurance company to see what they cover and do not cover.

THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES THAT YOUR PAIN WILL GET BETTER WITH EITHER SURGERY.

 

Related Questions

Copyright © 2009-2012 ASAPS. All Rights Reserved.