Is is Possible to Keep Tummy Tuck Surgery Private?

Extended Tummy Tuck w/ Liposuction (Hips/Thighs) -- Keeping It Private -- Any Ideas? I scheduled my TT for September 8! It sounds like a long time out, but will be here before I know it. I'm 53 yrs old, had 2 c-sections, lost 55 lbs./kept it off for 5 yrs & workout regularly - lifestyle change. I'm so afraid of surgery, but the excitement of losing my horrible belly is overriding my fear. I work in a small Law Firm (15 yrs) and am close w/ co-workers. Also have circle of good friends. Don't want to share this w/ anyone (only hubby and boss/friend). Any ideas/white lies?

Doctor Answers 5

Keeping Tummy Tuck Private

Thank you for the question.

Yes it is possible to keep your upcoming surgery private. The more time off you have the easier it will be to do so.

“White lies" such as  having undergone a back  procedure or treatment may be helpful.

Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 reviews

they are "having female surgery" in order to conceal the true nature of the

IT seem's that women often use the expression that they are "having female surgery"  in  order to conceal the true nature of the surgery

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Cosmetic surgery is private...and HIPAA laws make sure of it

Any health related matter is and should be kept private by your doctors, including cosmetic surgery.  In this day and age of many people getting cosmetic surgery, it is paramount that patient privacy be protected at all costs.  Some plastic surgery practices even have hidden entrances to protect the identity of their patients.  To keep the matter private from your friends, many patients say that they are going on vacation for several weeks.  If you're having a tummy tuck in September, this would be great for you as swimming suits will most likely not be an issue for you.  If you need to let your work know that you'll be away for some time, they will most likely not need to know the reason.  If they do, have your primary care physician write a generic letter for you if you need an extended recovery period.  However this is very unlikely as The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) will protect you from anyone learning about your tummy tuck.  Short term disability benefits may be an issue for some patients, so if this applies to you make sure you check into your specific policy.  Besides that, I hope you enjoy the "benefits" of your "vacation!"

Ideas for Keeping a Tummy Tuck a Family Secret

The ONLY way people can find out about your surgery is if you or a member of your family tells someone.Neither the surgeon, his staff or the operating facility staff is allowed to divulge any such information. If you take a 2-3 week "vacation" for your surgery and stay out of sight, cell phone or E mail contact - NO ONE will know.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Cover story for tummy tuck recovery

Congrats on the positive changes in your life and your decision to have the tummy tuck. One suggestion that has worked for some of my patients is just to say you had "female surgery." Technically that is correct since you are female, but by phrasing it that way it suggests that you don't want to get into details. However, people will notice the change in your appearance and it may be best just to get it out in the open and enlighten them about why you did it. People have so many misconceptions about why tummy tucks are done that the gossip may be be worse.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 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.