Will insurance cover a tummy tuck due to multiple abdominal surgeries with midline incisions with a permanent ileostomy?

I have a permanent ileostomy since the age of 16 and now I am 47 with a deformed belly. Multiple pregnancies and surgeries have caused a midline indention and a very smelly belly button. Not only a hygiene issue but problems with appliance issues due to excess skin folds! I'm within a normal Bmi and weight/height ratio but still having problems.

Doctor Answers 6

Insurance Will Not Cover Tummy Tuck However . . .

Dear taylor1125,

I empathize with your condition, as it has been lifelong and no doubt very distressing for you.

Insurance is not going to cover a cosmetic tummy tuck nor does it sound like you would be a candidate for the same. However, if you are having problems with hygiene and difficulties with the bellybutton, etc. there are smaller localized procedures that could be done to give you some relief. For instance, there is no reason why the bellybutton cannot be removed completely. As a matter of fact, this was standard procedure by general surgeons operating on bellybutton hernias until 40-50 years ago. That will remove the area of irritation and potential infection. Areas around your abdomen to correct this should be covered by insurance.

I hope this has been helpful.

Robert D. Wilcox, MD


Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Will insurance cover a tummy tuck due to multiple abdominal surgeries with midline incisions with a permanent ileostomy?

Thank you for your interesting question.  Your experienced board-certified plastic surgeon should first outline what procedure you can benefit from, since with a permanent ileostomy it does not seem that you can have a standard tummy tuck.  There are variations, for example a vertical tummy tuck, which may be beneficial to you.  As for insurance, it depends on your insurance policy.  With what you describe, your plastic surgeon's office may be able to obtain pre-authorization for the procedure.  Hope that helps.  Best of luck.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Will insurance cover a tummy tuck due to multiple abdominal surgeries with midline incisions with a permanent ileostomy?

Without photos it is impossible to know what the best answer is to your situation. You are probably not a candidate for a standard TT but scar revision of some sort may be appropriate and would usually be covered by insurance.  TT of any  kind is never covered. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Will insurance cover a tummy tuck due to multiple abdominal surgeries with midline incisions with a permanent ileostomy

Thank you for your question.  A photo would be helpful.  Insurance companies classifies tummy tucks as a cosmetic procure and will not provide coverage for that procedure. You may be able to have scar revision or panniculectomy approved.  COnsult with a local board certified plastic surgeon to discus your options. Best WIshes.

Adominal Issues from previous surgeries

Your insurance may cover correction of problems with your abdomen including scar revision etc. You would definitely want to get opinions from at least a couple of plastic surgeons before making a decision. The history of multiple previous surgeries may complicate the ability to do a tummy tuck due to existing incisions, scar tissue, etc.

Tummy Tuck for Abdominal Scars and Permanent Ileostomy

Thank you for your question about Tummy Tuck. I wish I could offer good news.

Surgeries for the purpose of improving appearance and bolstering self-esteem are cosmetic by most insurance companies and not something that is covered by insurance.

To be sure, see two or more experienced, board-certified Plastic Surgeons in your area for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 150 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.