Is there any hope at all that a tummy tuck may treat this? Should I explore other avenues? I just want to wear a bikini (Photo)

As a teen, I had surgeries resulting in scars: up my abdomen, hip to hip, bell button etc. My abdomen separated and Never regained a flat tone. My skin stretched in closing (cyst/adhesion) operations, resulting in tearing and stretching post pregnancy. The scars that didnt stretch became large folds. Is there hope that a tt could rectify this disfigurement w/o taking away my waist? I've been saving for 6 year, but is there potential insurance (UnitedHealth) might pay as a reconstruction?

Doctor Answers 12

Any hope for me?

Hello and thank you for your question. Not only is there hope but I think you can get a superb result. You also have options. 
Firstly insurance will not cover anything. 
First option is a standard tummy tuck which will tighten your abdomen give you a low horizontal scar, tightening the skin and removing the ugly scars.
Second and more transforming is a lower body lift with auto augmentation of the buttocks and in my hands the hips to give you an even more obvious hour glass shape. Gives the same abdomen result as a standard tummy tuck but pulls up the lax outer thigh and buttocks while enhancing the buttocks. 
A bikini can easily be worn thereafter.
Peter Fisher M.D. 

San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Abdominoplasty and liposuction fix

I would agree with other comments here that you would certainly benefit hugely from a tummy tuck procedure with removal of scar tissue below the belly button and a bikini line hidden scar.

The muscle underneath needs to be repaired and an ultrasound before operation may be a potential option to exclude a hidden hernia and make the operation safer.

I would also recommend having liposuction to reduce the flanks and abdominal wall thickness.

This will add a lot to your result.

So best of luck. In my opinion the way to go is tummy tuck with full liposuction. 

Sanjay Azad, MS, FRCSEd
Thunder Bay Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Abdominal scar removal with TT


I believe you will greatly benefit from a full TT. Not only will a TT remove all of your scars, but it will also repair your abdominal wall that was stretched/damaged by your pregnancies. Repair of your abdominal wall will transform your abdomen into a more desirable silhouette, improving your waistline. Go for it!

Best wishes and kind regards,

Gary Horndeski M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 223 reviews

Is there any hope at all that a tummy tuck may treat this? Should I explore other avenues? I just want to wear a bikini (Photo)

You should be a good candidate for a full tummy tuck.  From your photographs, it appears that most of your excess skin is in the lower abdomen.  The actual type of tummy tuck will depend on your exam and specifically how much excess skin you have in the upper abdomen as well as the nature of your pre existing scars.

Paul H. Rhee, MD, FACS
Castle Rock Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tummy Tuck

Thank you for your question. I recommend seeing a PS in person, but without confirming this you seem to be a good candidate from a tummy tuck that will help you achieve the results you want. Unfortunately insurance will not cover this type of procedure as it is considered cosmetic. I recommend having consultations to various plastic surgeons to find one you are comfortable with.

Kamran Azad, MD
Pasadena Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Abdominoplasty: Information

Dear Ms. Rhawkins728,

Thank you for your story, questions and photos.
I understand your situation.

This is a situation that occasionally occurs (a combined insurance approved procedure and a cosmetic procedure). Unfortunately it is my experience (while logical) it will be difficult at best to work with insurance company to understand your position and credit the insurance covered benefit towards the cosmetic portion. But it is worth a try.

Most insurance companies follow the concept proposed by the American Medical Association which I have copied directly from the Am. Medical Association:
(1) Our AMA supports the following definitions of "cosmetic" and "reconstructive" surgery: Cosmetic surgery is performed to reshape normal structures of the body in order to improve the patient's appearance and self-esteem.
Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body, caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease. It is generally performed to improve function, but may also be done to approximate a normal appearance.
(2) Our AMA encourages third party payers to use these definitions in determining services eligible for coverage under the plans they offer or administer.(CMS Rep. F, A-89; Reaffirmed: Sunset Report, A-00; Reaffirmed, A-03; Reaffirmed: CMS Rep. 4, A-13).

I would recommend a  fleur de lis abdominoplasty:
1) remove excess skin and fat in both a vertical and horizontal  
2) many of your existing scars will be removed and revised
3)only incision that will be abel to be seen in a bikini will be the vertical incision.

Here are my suggestions:
1)work with your insurance company and document ALL in writing
2)with preapproval in writing pay the difference between a pannieculectomy and abdominoplasty to your surgeon, facility and anesthesiologist and have Plastic Surgeon
accept the insurance payment
3)with preapproval pay all fees up front and have Plastic Surgeon for abdominoplasty and have Plastic Surgeon agree to forward you the insurance fees collected.

I trust you have chosen a Plastic Surgeon who is experienced and Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In addition ideally he/she is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (denoting by membership as having met additional criteria and a focus on Cosmetic Plastic Surgery).

I wish you my best and success,

R. A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Diplomate and Certified by the Am. Bd. of Plastic Surgery
4646 Brockton Ave
Riverside, Ca 92506
(951) 686-7600

Robert A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Riverside Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

Is there any hope at all that a tummy tuck may treat this? Should I explore other avenues? I just want to wear a bikini

Hello Rhawkins728,
Thanks for your question.
You seem to have lots of loose skin.
Without confirming this in person, I do think that a full abdominoplasty would help improve this situation significantly.
It would help to know what was exactly done in all of your previous surgeries, but the records are long gone by now, I assume.
A cosmetic disfigurement with no functional problems would not be covered by any health insurance typically.
I would recommend a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area to learn more.
If you have any further questions, you are welcome to visit us at our office in Denver.
Take care, 
Dr. Shah

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Tummy tuck candidate

Hi and thanks for your question and posted photos. You look like a great candidate for full tumy tuck and muscle repair, all that extra skin will be gone, your tummy will get flat, your scar is meant to be very low to be covered by a bikini. Be sure to see a board certified plastic surgeon.
Best wishes.

Dr. Milla

Hector Milla, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Is there any hope at all that a tummy tuck may treat this?

I love it when patients come in with your anatomy as we can remove all the bad lower skin, all the attached fat, and the entire bad scar with a standard Tummy Tuck. These are some of the happiest patients a surgeon has in his practice. Get it done and be in your Bikini by summer. I have never seen insurance pay for this as there is no medical problem involved. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy tuck is the best solution

Based on your photos but without an examination, you appear to be a good candidate for a full tummy tuck and liposuction of selective areas. It is difficult to tell whether in fact you are a good candidate for those procedures without a physical examination and complete medical history. It would depend on your anatomical findings, motivation, realistic expectations, and whether you are finished having children.

The best long term cosmetic results with the least likelihood of potential complications are achieved in patients who weigh within 10 pounds of their ideal weight.

If a member of my family underwent these procedures, they would be performed by an experienced plastic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. If you are serious about undergoing these procedures, you should have a thorough consultation with a plastic surgeon having those credentials, who will fully explain what is entailed in the procedures, including both the positives and potential problems. You should be complimented on the fact that you are seeking valid information before jumping into any procedure.

It is unlikely that insurance will cover a cosmetic correction of your abdomen.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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.