Tummy Tuck Q&A with Dr. C
Choosing whether you’re ready for a tummy tuck is a big decision, so it’s completely normal to have a ton of questions beforehand. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of the concerns that Denver men and women express most often aren’t answered in the typical FAQ. Below, tummy tuck specialist Dr. Frank Campanile answers several of the most commonly heard—but less commonly answered—questions about getting a tummy tuck.
If you have a question about tummy tucks that’s not addressed here, please feel free to contact us online today to schedule a consultation. Dr. Campanile is a board certified plastic surgeon who focuses on developing a customized approach toward cosmetic surgery that can better help you meet your unique goals.
Q. I’ve thought about getting a tummy tuck for a while now, but I’m still not sure. How can I be positive I’m making the right decision?
A. This is a tough question to answer because there isn’t one timeline that works best for everyone. Some patients feel confident after just a few weeks of research while others may wait years before finally making an appointment. The truth is, sometimes it helps to schedule a consultation even before you feel completely ready for the next step. Talking together in person can give you a whole new perspective on your surgery. Remember, a consultation is not the same thing as setting a date for surgery—it’s just another step on the way, and you can still take as much time as you need. Most importantly, you’ll leave my office with a lot more information that’s specific to your concerns about your body, and that’s something that no other source of research in the world can give you.
Q. I’ve heard so many different stories when it comes to tummy tucks and insurance, especially after major weight loss. What’s the bottom line on insurance coverage?
A. Even when performed to remove excess skin and tissue following major weight loss, a tummy tuck is typically considered a cosmetic procedure and insurance companies rarely offer coverage for procedures that fall into that category. However, a mini tummy tuck (also known as a panniculectomy) may sometimes be covered by insurance policies. There’s so much variance between the plans and coverage offered by different providers that there’s no way to say for sure if your procedure will be covered. However, my office staff is happy to help you get the proper paperwork in order if you plan to file a claim.
Q. It’s my last pregnancy and I’m scheduled for a C-section. I know I want a tummy tuck after this to get my pre-baby body back. Can I just get both surgeries done at the same time?
A. Since a C-section and a tummy tuck seem related in that they both take place in the midsection, it does seem like combining procedures would make sense. In reality, though, your body needs time to recover from pregnancy and childbirth before you consider a tummy tuck. Your skin and muscles will tighten up on their own quite a bit in the weeks and months after having a baby, and surgically tightening them before this process would end up giving you a midsection that’s much tighter than it should be. Plus, results tend to look better if you’re at or near your target weight when you schedule your surgery, so waiting a bit longer gives you time to return to your pre-pregnancy weight. I generally recommend waiting at least six months after giving birth before considering a tummy tuck.
Q. I’m pretty unhappy with the way my belly looks after having a baby, but I still want more children. Can I get pregnant after a tummy tuck? Will there be more risks associated with my pregnancy?
A. A tummy tuck shouldn’t affect your physical capability to become pregnant or carry a healthy baby to term. The reason so many plastic surgeons recommend against getting pregnant after abdominoplasty is because it’s possible another pregnancy will undo many of the benefits of your surgery. Muscles and skin get stretched out again, which could require a more challenging revision tummy tuck to correct. All things considered, it’s really best to wait until after you’ve completed your family before pursuing cosmetic surgery.
Q. Although I love the idea of having a flatter waistline again, I’m really worried about how my scar will look after surgery. Is there any way to get the same results without such a big incision?
A. A lot of patients are concerned about the length of a tummy tuck incision, which runs from hip to hip. Yet, if you look at pictures of tummy tuck patients a year or more after their surgery, you’ll see the scar is much less noticeable after healing completely. Also, the placement should be such that even skimpy clothing like swimsuits and underwear should offer ample coverage. The majority of patients feel that any scar is worth the tradeoff of removing excess skin and repairing separated abdominal muscles that simply can’t be corrected without surgery. Alternatively, a mini tummy tuck—which requires a shorter incision—may be an option in the right candidate.