Degenerative Disc Disease- Candidate for TT?

My weight hasnt changed since 2000.(give or take 20 lbs.)I did the gym thing prior to my dignosis of deg. disc disease.I tense my stomach and the muscles are tight till bellt button area then the muffin top.But my belly is big54" around waist 58 at belly button.very self conscious about belly and fear health issues(heart attck-in family) Am i a good canidate and would ins. possibly cover?

Doctor Answers 5

Tummy tuck appropriate

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You disc disease would not likely be a problem with a tummy tuck.  Sometimes a tummy tuck helps with back pain because the abdominal muscles are tightened and they provide for support for the spine.

With your 50+ inch waistline, however, you likely have intraabdominal obesity and this will not be helped much with a tummy tuck.  The fat that is intraabdominal (belly) fat will not be removed and it will be difficult to tighten the abdomen very much.   Also, obese patients have a much higher rate of complications following tummy tuck. 

If you are obese, I recommend you consult with a physician who can help you get down to a healthier weight before considering surgery. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Tummy tuck is not covered by insurance. (even with degenerative disc disease)

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Insurance does not cover tummy tuck for ANY reason. Panniculectomy is sometimes covered by some insurance plans, IF there is documentation of a certain (significant) degree of skin "apron" or pannus overhang causing recurrent infections (also needed to be documented in your medical history). But this only covers removal of the loose pannus (hence the name), not a true tummy tuck with umbilical transposition and muscle repair (rectus sheath plication).

So why get the operation your insurance pays for rather than the one you really need (or want)? Get the tummy tuck and expect to pay for it.

BTW, you did not include your weight, but with those dimensions, you may qualify for gastric bypass surgery to treat morbid obesity. This will not only help your degenerative disc disease, but will improve your life expectancy as well as your quality of life! See your internist, please!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Body weight is more concerning than degenerative disc disease

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I would be more concerned with your high body weight than the degenerative disc disease. It seems you may be too obese for a tummy tuck. The excess body weight is likely also contributing to your spinal disease. I would consult with a primary care physician with regard to a weight reduction plan. Then, you may be a better candidate for a tummy tuck once you're at a lower weight.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 410 reviews

Degenerative disc disease and tummy tucks

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Your diagnosis of degenerative disc disease has no impact on the appropriateness of a tummy tuck nor is it a contraindication for the procedure. Despite the circumference and projection of your tummy, you would need to be evaluated by a board certified plastic surgeon as to what procedure(s) could best help you. It may be a full tummy tuck with or without liposuction.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Tummy Tuck Surgery for Degenerative Disc

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Tummy tuck surgery is a cosmetic surgical procedure and unfortunately would not be covered by your insurance. It would be helpful to know you height and weight to calculate your body mass index to see if tummy tuck would be an option.

Richard Linderman, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.