Costs/Medicare Rebates? Tummy Tuck.

Hi Guys,So I'm almost 21 years old, my whole life I've been struggling with weight etc. I have finally managed to lose a total of 23kgs and many centremeters! I had all the confidence in the world until I got back from my holiday and seen the photos of myself in bikinis! After seeing my GP he told me my "apron" of skin would need removed. I had my consult today with a surgeon and I simply cannot afford it. My private health insurance will only cover $800. Are there any other avenues I can use?

Doctor Answers 1

Abdominoplasty Costs

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Hi Laurenmac

Good work on your weight loss. Removing the remaining extra skin/fat will help you on your road to looking fantastic.

I'm assuming because you used the terms GP and Medicare/Private Health Insurance that you are Australian. If I'm incorrect, the logistics will be different in other parts of the world.

It is virtually impossible to get your apronectomy or abdominoplasty performed in the public hospital system nowadays. Although there is a Medicare item number for the procedure, most hospitals do not allow these procedures to even hit the waiting list as they are already busy just trying to cope with the load of operating for cancer and trauma. You can sometimes manipulate the system by writing to your local minister asking for their assistance.

Otherwise, your health insurance is your best bet. There will be people that are more expensive than others in your city, so a bit of shopping around could help reduce costs. However, do remember that cheap is not necessarily better, or even ok!! Many of us see botched procedures that need a lot of revisionary surgery from patients trying to cut costs.

When discussing costs with your surgeon, you should check if they are a Specialist Plastic Surgeon (look them up on the AHPRA website) and that they will be doing your procedure under a general anaesthetic in an accredited private hospital. Ask your GP about them, and ask any friends that are in the health industry what they know about the doctor. At that point, you will have done as much as possible to ensure your safety and a good outcome. Then check that you are being assessed and followed up by the surgeon - at least then if one place is cheaper because most of the face to face work is done by a nurse, you will understand that is what you are signing up for.

Good Luck

Dr Gavin Sandercoe

Head of Dept, Liverpool Hospital NSW


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