Will a Tummy Tuck Relieve Pain?

I reached goal weight over 2 years ago...having lost 130 pounds (and eliminating $10,000/month of meds and one monthly IVig treatment). I still get severe lower back pain. I've two opposing mod. to severe curves in my spine and degenerative disk disease (compressed) in my tail bone area. After the weight loss, I still have about 20 pounds or so of "apron" fat that really moves against me when I walk or exercise. Would a tummy tuck relieve the back pain? Would insurance cover in this case?

Doctor Answers 4

Helping back pain with an abdominoplasty

The  abdominal wall forms a cinch around the lower abdomen giving some support to the lower back. It is also know that for every 1 pound of weight on the lower abdomen will transfer 10 pounds to the  lower lumbar spine.  This causes a condition called kyphosis of the lower lumber spine.   Clinically I see many patients who report that their back pain is improved following an abdominoplasty.  There is really no way to tell if an insurance company would consider this medically necessary.   You could always call your insurance company and speak with a claims representative and ask if there is a coverage for this problems.  In today's world you just do not know for sure.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

There is no guarantee that an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck will help back pain.

Patients from time to time claim that an abdominoplasty helps lower back pain. There is no good scientific evidence to support this. Any benefit you get after abdominoplasty relative to your back would be considered good fortune.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Tummy Tuck

In general, tummy tucks can improve the weight on your abdomen but with your history of primary back problems I do not think you will see a big change in your symptoms.  Overall, your weight loss is impressive, congratulations.  The addition of a tummy tuck may improve your exercise capabilities and this may indirectly allow you to improve your back exercise tolerance to help your back.  I hope this information is helpful.

Ronald H. Stefani Jr, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Back pain and tummy tucks

It's hard to say and there isn't a lot of great data supporing tummy tucks for pain.  As of now, tummy tucks and diastasis repair are for cosmetic purposes only.

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.