A Tummy Tuck Has Psychological And Physical Benefits

Posted on: 21 January 2015

You've lost a large amount of weight, which is awesome, but you're dismayed by the excess skin left behind in your midsection. You're aware of a surgical procedure that removes this skin, but you're hesitant to pursue the possibility. Consider the research, which supports the mental health benefits of this operation. You may feel better physically afterward as well, since that remaining skin and fat can be a heavy burden on your body. 

About Abdominoplasty Surgery

The surgery that interests you is medically known as abdominoplasty, commonly called a tummy tuck. It removes the excess skin and underlying fat that can remain after a person loses a lot of weight. Another benefit is that the surgery tightens your abdominal muscles. 

Research on Mental Health Benefits

Several studies have looked at the psychological impact of an abdominoplasty to verify its emotional benefits. The research typically focuses on women, as they have traditionally chosen this procedure more often than men have. 

For example, a study published in 2014 found that women who had a tummy tuck generally experienced significant improvement in

  • self-esteem
  • sexual function
  • body satisfaction
  • reduced depression
  • decreased bulimic compulsions
  • overall quality of life

Payment Considerations

Unfortunately, insurance companies tend to consider an abdominoplasty to be a cosmetic procedure, even though the surgery has been proven to provide significant mental health benefits.

An insurance company is more likely to pay for an operation if you have abdominal skin and fat hanging down over the pubic area. The removal of this skin and fat is known as a panniculectomy. The panniculus is a risk area for skin rashes and ulcerations that can develop serious infections. 

The plastic surgeon you choose will advocate for you. He or she may send documentation and photos to the insurance company in an effort to show why this is a medical as well as a cosmetic procedure. For instance, if you experience back pain or have trouble exercising because of the weight and bulk of the skin and fat you are still carrying, that might be considered a medical issue.  

If your insurance will not contribute, the doctor may have payment plans and financing arrangements available if you cannot pay for the entire cost upfront.

What Can You Do Now?

Contact plastic surgeons, ones like Center For Plastic Surgery, in your area to learn whether they do abdominoplasty procedures. After consultations with one or more surgeons, you'll be able to make an informed decision about whether to proceed with the surgery. If you do decide on a tummy tuck, you'll know that research supports the benefits of this surgery and you should feel better afterward.