We offer panniculectomy with abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" to carefully selected patients. We have been successful so far in every instance to get them covered through the patient's insurance without any direct cost to the patient.
The "tummy tuck" can be done either through a single "bikini" incision to address laxity at the lower abdomen or through a combination of a "bikini" and an upper abdominal vertical incision to address laxity at the upper and lower abdominal wall. View before and after slide show
In either instance the umbilicus or belly button is detached from the surrounding skin and fat, preserved and re-attached to the new skin flaps that we create.
It is essential to understand that the "tummy tuck" will significantly tighten the skin, but will require long incisions that can result in scars. If made properly the incisions can be very fine and the resulting scars will not be very obvious.
Most common complications of "tummy tuck" include loss of the belly button, bleeding that may require blood transfusion and infection of the flaps that may require surgical debridement. At the Bariatric Center we have not experienced any of these complications so far. "Dog ears" and flap asymmetry may also occur as a result of the significant "whole body" laxity in some cases,which is impossible to address with a "tummy tuck" only. All of our patients stay at the hospital one night and are discharged home the next day with two drains that will be removed in one of the next office visits.
To be eligible for a "tummy tuck patients must meet the following criteria:
- Reach a BMI of less than 30 Kg/m2 and maintain a fairly stable weight.
- Wait at least 18 months after the original weight loss surgery.
- Have loose skin that hangs below the level of the pubic hair line.
- Experience additional medical or quality of life issues as a result of the hanging skin such as infections, skin rashes, hygiene problems, abdominal pain or difficulty exercing or finding clothing that fits properly.
We recommend that patients document such problems by taking pictures at the time of the occurrence, by retaining the names of creams, lotions or antibiotics prescribed to treat skin conditions, or by requesting medical records from other physicians who treated these conditions.