Combined Surgeries? Portion Covered? (photo)

I need a hysterectomy (fibroids). I want a tummy tuck & axillary breast tissue removed. I understand that I need board certified GYN & PS that would work together. Do you recommend all 3 procedures simultaneously? I was told that because I have sisters who are breast cancer survivors that a portion of the breast tissue removal could possibly be covered by my insurance, because of difficulty in viewing this tissue during regular screening. T or F, if so what portion would be covered?

Doctor Answers 9

Combined procedure plan

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Multiple procedures can be safely performed in one setting. But it depends on your health status (past medical history), your anatomy, and the amount of surgery/type of procedures to be done. Your surgeon(s) will very likely recommend an overnight stay depending on the overall length of your procedure(s), especially given your hysterectomy plan.  As per insurance coverage, I've never seen insurance cover removal of benign axillary breast tissue - they deem it as not medically indicated.  Please confirm that your plastic surgeon is board certified plastic surgeon specifically by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  Wishing you a speedy recovery.
Dr. Basu
Houston, TX

Tummy Tuck, Hysterectomy, and Axillary Breast Tissue Removal

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   Tummy tuck and hysterectomy are performed together quite frequently.  The addition of the third does not pose much of an increase in risk.

Combination Surgeries

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Thank you for the question and photos.

It does look like you may be a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery as well as removal of the axillary tissue.  This would need to be submitted to your insurance company to see if the axillary tissue removal would be covered.

Visit with well experienced plastic surgeons and ask if they are willing to perform this combination surgery with an OBGYN.  Ask to see examples of their work.

Best Wishes.

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Combination surgery.

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It would be reasonable to have the multiple operations you have described in one setting. However, you should remember that more surgery implies a greater time under anesthesia and this could increase the risks of certain complications. It is best to discuss your desired operations with each perspective surgeon and test their comfort level. Sometimes, there are medical indications not to proceed with a larger operation, but divide the surgeries and improve patient safety. Best wishes, Aldo.

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 215 reviews

Multiple procedures at the same time

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Based on your pictures, it appears that you would be a very good candidate for a tummy tuck at the time of your hysterectomy.  Combining those two procedures with removal of your axillary tissue is more than reasonable.  Your board certified plastic surgeon will evaluate you and can then submit your case to the insurance company.  Then a decision can be made if the insurance company will cover that portion of the surgery.

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Combined procedures

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Thanks for your inquiry, I think performing the three procedures at the same time is reasonable if you are in good health.  As for the axillary tissue being covered, let your plastic surgeon evaluate and get a pre-determination if your insurance company would pay for that portion of the surgeon.

Combined Surgeries

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Thank you for your question and the attached photos. It appears that you should get a nice improvement from the TT.

This is not an unreasonable combination of procedures, provided that the hysterectomy is uneventful. Once the hysterectomy is complete, the TT would be done, and then the axillary surgery.

I cannot tell from the photos if I am looking at bra roll fat or actual axillary breast tissue. Either way it seems unlikely that you insurance company would pay for that part of the procedure unless there is a mammographic abnormality suspicious for a breast cancer. 

Your insurer will probably cover the hysterectomy, and the operating and anesthesia fees associated with that part of the operation. You will probably be responsible for the professional fees to the plastic surgeon, and for the operating room and anesthesia costs related to the TT and to the axillary surgery. 

Best wishes for a successful outcome.


Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Combined Surgeries? Portion Covered?

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Yes you can have the three operations done in order of the hysterectomy first. Than TT if not too much bleeding. Than the axillary breast tail excision, again depending on the bleeding. As for health insurance coverage for axillary breast excision is very doubtful. Best to discuss with YOUR health insurance company, your PS, and GYN, and the hospital billing dept. 

Combining surgeries? What will insurance cover.

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Thanks for your question and for your photographs.


From the pictures you have provided it looks as though you are a good candidate for tummy tuck and even the removal of the axillary tissue.  In my own experience this is likely something that you could combined with your hysterectomy.  You will simply have to have your plastic surgeon and your obstetrician to communicate to make sure they feel the combination is safe for you and will not take undue time.

Insurance coverage is a much more difficult question.  Each individual insurance carrier has specific rules and guidelines about what they will or will not cover.  I would strongly suggest that you ask your insurance carrier for preapproval prior to surgery.  In the absence of a letter from them that guarantees payment it is likely that you will bear the burden for these costs.

Good luck with your upcoming surgeries.



Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 115 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.