Need Tummy Tuck, Lots of Skin Hanging?

Large tummy hanging like Abigail apron, painful, smells & uncomfortable. Only have Medicare! Help!please

Doctor Answers 7

Tummy tuck is not covered by Medicare

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Medicare does not cover tummy tucks.  Medicare will cover a panniculectomy if you have symptoms, which you do.  However, Medicare does not pre-authorize.  You will need to find a surgeon who is willing to do the surgery and will accept payment based on Medicare's low reimbursement rate.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Need Tummy Tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I suggest you begin by seeking a #PlasticSurgeon who is board-certified and has a great deal of experience specializing in cosmetic #surgery to consult with. You will then greatly improve your chances of getting the result you desire, and, without the need for a revision surgery. It is suggested that you look at before and after photos of the surgeons actual patients, and read patient reviews. Seeking the right doctor and gathering all of this information will help you make a well-informed decision. The most important decision to be made before performing any surgical procedure is determining whether you are an ideal #candidate. Your board-certified plastic surgeon will recommend the type best suited for you during a one-on-one in-person consultation. Also, another element to a satisfying result of your procedures are realistic #expectations.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This will be difficult to get covered by Medicare. Your only solution maybe weight loss.  You might look into bariatric surgery which is more likely to be covered by medicare.

Robert Kearney, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Need Tummy Tuck, Lots of Skin Hanging

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Because opf your symptoms, a panniculectomy, the removal of only the overhanging skin, may qualify for Medicare coverage. See a well qualified surgeon for an opinion. Of course, you must be in good health for this surgery.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Medicare coverage is possible

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The large hanging apron of skin is called a pannus.  The removal of the pannus is called a panniculectomy.  If you have trouble with hygiene and skin infections you can qualify for a panniculectomy.  Make sure to have documentation of previous treatments and problems with the pannus

A panniculectomy is not a tummy tuck because it is limited to the area below the belly button.  The panniculectomy will take care of your problem skin and a tummy tuck will provide a nicer appearance of the whole abdomen.

Seek a consultation with a plastic surgeon that takes Medicare.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon

Medicare coverage for removing excess skin

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Medicare will only cover medically necessary procedures (such as panniculectomy but not tummy tuck) and from your description, your excess skin is causing medical problems so Medicare should cover removal of the excess skin. Unfortunately, Medicare will not prior authorize any procedure so there is no way to know in advance whether your surgery will be covered. Your best bet is to see one or more board certified plastic surgeons in your area who can evaluate your individual case and give you advice as to what your options are. Good luck to you.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Need Tummy Tuck, Lots of Skin Hanging

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Try surgeons in your area and if no luck, the nearest medical school. Medicare typically will pay only for panniculectomy, not a full tummy tuck, so the surgery would be limited to below the navel . If you needed something above the navel, that would be above and beyond your coverage. 

Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.