Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Blue cross blue shield tummy tuck coverage

Tummy tucks are a great way to get rid of the extra skin that hangs around after a pregnancy, but they can be expensive. Here’s a guide to finding tummy tuck coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield. Tummy tucks are an excellent way to get rid of the extra skin that hangs around after a pregnancy. But they’re not cheap: it’s common for patients to pay $10,000 or more out-of-pocket for the procedure.

Thankfully, insurance companies often cover at least some of the cost of tummy tucks—and Blue Cross Blue Shield is no exception! In this article, we’ll tell you how to make sure your BCBS plan covers tummy tucks and how much you can expect them to pay toward your surgery costs. In this guide, we review the aspects of Blue cross blue shield tummy tuck coverage, how to get a panniculectomy covered by insurance, how do you get approved for a panniculectomy, and will insurance pay for tummy tuck if you have a hernia.

Blue cross blue shield tummy tuck coverage


A tummy tuck is a common cosmetic procedure to remove excess skin around the midsection. It is a popular option among women who have had children and both men and women who have lost a large amount of weight, either through diet and exercise or weight loss surgery.

After one of these events, you may be left with excess skin around your middle, even if you have gotten rid of the underlying fat, leaving your midsection looking flabby, no matter how much you exercise. Not only that, but you may also become prone to rashes and skin infections in between the folds of excess skin, which can be quite uncomfortable and even painful.

Covering Tummy Tuck Costs

One of the first questions that many of our patients ask is, “Can a tummy tuck be covered by insurance?” The answer to this question is both yes and no. In many cases, a tummy tuck is merely a cosmetic procedure, and most insurance plans will not cover this. However, if you are experiencing rashes or skin infections, it then becomes a medical need to have the surgery. In this case, you may be able to get some of the costs of your tummy tuck covered by insurance.

Why only some of the costs, you ask? A tummy tuck is performed in two stages. The first stage involves tightening the underlying abdominal muscles to create a smooth contour. The second phase involves removing the excess skin so that the remaining skin can be tightened over your middle. For medically necessary procedures, insurance will cover the second phase of the procedure, as removing the excess skin is required to eliminate the risk of rashes and infections.

A Tummy Tuck for Your Budget

After your insurance has covered the skin-tightening portion of the procedure, you’ll still be responsible for paying for the muscle-tightening phase. Here at the Offices of Dr. Michael J. Streitmann, we want you to be able to have the procedures you desire to achieve your dream body. That is why we offer flexible payment plans to help you fit tummy tuck surgery into your budget. We’ll work with you to come up with a payment plan that best meets your needs.

Before we perform any procedure, we’ll provide you with a free consultation to review the details of the tummy tuck procedure, recovery, and ongoing care processes. We’ll take the time to answer all of your questions so that you can feel completely comfortable trusting us for your tummy tuck surgery. We have two offices in the Houston area to serve you. Call (832)664-7297 to get in touch with us today and schedule your free consultation appointment.

Board certified tummy tuck surgeons

A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure in which Dr. Bloch removes excess skin from your abdomen and tightens muscles and skin to give you more desirable body contours. Tummy tucks reduce:

  • Loose skin
  • Sagging skin
  • Separated abdominal muscles
  • Fat bulges

Dr. Bloch lets you know if a mini or full tummy tuck is right for you based on your health, the condition of your stomach, and your desired result.

Is a tummy tuck right for me?

To determine if a tummy tuck is right for you, Dr. Bloch reviews your medical history and completes a physical exam. He makes sure you have realistic expectations and can make the time commitment needed for a full recovery. 

You must be in good health and at or near an ideal body weight prior to the procedure. Dr. Bloch can perform additional cosmetic procedures, such as breast augmentation, breast lift, or liposuction, at the same time as a tummy tuck.

How should I prepare for my procedure?

To prepare for a tummy tuck, follow Dr. Bloch’s instructions. Avoid taking certain medications, stop smoking, and maintain a stable body weight. Arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you the first night after the procedure.

What happens during a tummy tuck?

Right before a tummy tuck, you receive general anesthesia to put you asleep. Dr. Bloch makes an incision in your lower abdominal area. He removes tissue, tightens muscles and skin, and may create a new belly button for you. 

Dr. Bloch might place tiny tubes in your abdomen temporarily to drain excess fluid or blood. The procedure can last two to three hours, or longer if you opt for additional cosmetic procedures.

What should I expect after surgery?

After surgery, you recover in a relaxing room while the anesthesia wears off. You can usually go home the day of surgery but must have someone drive you home. 

Take medications as prescribed by Dr. Bloch and keep the treatment area clean. Begin walking around when he says it’s okay. Wear a supportive garment, or abdominal binder, for a month or two after surgery. 

Attend routine follow-up appointments at Body By Bloch to monitor your progress and get the drains removed. Swelling subsides over time, yielding a slimmer midsection. Results are long-lasting if you maintain a healthy weight.

Don’t live with loose, sagging skin or a protruding belly if it makes you feel less than beautiful. Schedule a tummy tuck consultation with Body By Bloch over the phone or online today.


Blue Cross Insurance to Cover Some Gender-Affirming Surgeries in N.C. -

A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure to remove excess hanging skin and fat called a pannus or “apron” from the lower abdomen after a big weight loss.

A panniculectomy isn’t a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), a procedure done for cosmetic and aesthetic reasons. Instead, it’s a surgery done to remove hanging skin that may cover your thighs and genitals to improve your health and appearance.

Why do Panniculectomy Surgery?

Because of bariatric surgery or other drastic weight loss methods, you may need panniculectomy surgery to remove excess skin. The excess skin can hang over your back, thighs, genital area, and extend as low as your knees, interfering with your daily activities such as, walking, standing, and sitting.

To avoid serious health problems, such as skin infections, back problems (due to weight and posture issues), rashes due to chafing, ulcers, and abscesses, you may need to undergo panniculectomy surgery.

You are a candidate for Panniculectomy if:

  • You are not suffering from uncontrolled cardiac disease, lung disease, or diabetes
  • You are a nonsmoker as cigarettes affect blood supply and wound healing.
  • You are in good health but have overhanging skin that is interfering with your daily activities.
  • Your weight has been stable for more than 6 months.
  • You have medical symptoms from your excess abdominal apron or persistent rashes or infections underneath the hanging fold of skin.

Complications and Risk of Panniculectomy Surgery

To undergo panniculectomy surgery requires you to weigh the benefits of the procedure and the risks involved. Some of the risks are:

  • Anesthesia risks such as reaction to medicines, breathing problems, bleeding, blood clots, or infection
  • Fluid buildup under the skin (seroma)
  • Poor healing of the skin
  • Skin loss and scarring
  • Tissue death
  • Prolonged swelling
  • Nerve damage that may cause changes to the sense of touch on your skin
  • Constant pain
  • Your skin may loosen again and you may have to redo the surgery
  • Skin discoloration

Preparing for Panniculectomy Procedure

When preparing for panniculectomy surgery:

Be open about your medical history to your surgeon. Let them know if you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Beware of certain medications. Your surgeon can suggest that you avoid taking herbal supplements and anti-inflammatory drugs, which may increase bleeding and make it hard for your blood to clot.

Avoid smoking. If you do, your surgeon may ask you to stop smoking to increase your chances of healing fast as smoking slows down wound healing.

Performing the Procedure

The procedure involves:

Anesthesia. You will receive intravenous or general anesthesia to ensure that you are asleep, at ease, and don’t feel pain during the procedure. Your surgeon will suggest the best choice for you.

Incision. Your surgeon will cut an incision from under your breastbone to just above your pelvic bone. 

Closing the incisions. In your lower belly, just above the pubic area, your surgeon will cut you horizontally depending on the amount of overhanging skin. In some instances, a vertical incision is necessary for persons who have excess skin in the transverse dimension.

After the incision, the surgeon will remove the excess skin and fat, and close your cut by stitching the skin together. The procedure might require small tubes called drains, inserted to allow blood or fluids that may collect to drain out. Over your abdomen, a dressing will be placed to cover the wound area.

Recovering after the Panniculectomy Procedure

It will take several weeks for the swelling to reduce. After the surgery, you can stay at the hospital for about two days or longer depending on how complex the surgery was. Your doctor will give you painkillers since after the surgery you will feel pain that can last for days. 

Do not panic if you experience numbness, bruising, and tiredness during this time. Your surgeon may encourage you to wear elastic support after a day or so to provide you with extra support as you heal. Within a week or two, you should be able to stand comfortably.

Avoid activities that might put pressure on your wound for the next 4 to 6 weeks. It will take about 3 months for the swelling on your wound to go down, but up to 2 years to see the result of your surgery.

For people who have undergone cesarean section (c-section), the existing scars can be integrated into the new scars. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience shortness of breath, unusual heartbeats, or chest pains when you are home. If you experience any of these symptoms you may have to be hospitalized for additional treatment. Follow your surgeon’s instruction on how to take care of yourself for a successful recovery.

how to get a panniculectomy covered by insurance

A tummy tuck is the most effective way to remove fat and extra skin from your abdomen – whether you’ve recently lost a lot of weight, had a baby, or just want a flatter stomach. However, insurance companies view tummy tucks as elective surgeries that are not medically necessary, and therefore almost never cover them.  

Typically most people opt to finance this surgery over 12-24 months with no interest or up to 60 months with interest, starting at around $300/month. NuBody Concepts Cosmetic Surgery partners with several medical financing providers that finance tummy tuck surgery for patients in Nashville and Memphis, TN.

What is a deferred interest payment plan and how do you get your tummy tuck approved for one? A deferred interest payment plan allows you to spread out payments for your medical procedure over the course of 12 months, in some cases even up to 24 months. Interest charges only apply if you exceed the 0% interest promotional period. 

To get your tummy tuck pre-approved before your consultation with a plastic surgeon, simply request a “soft” credit check from a free service like Credit Sesame or CreditKarma. You’ll need to provide some information and create an account but this just takes a few minutes and will not hurt your score. If your credit score is at or above 600, you will typically qualify for a payment plan for your tummy tuck. Each provider varies slightly in its credit score cutoff. If you struggle to be approved, you can reapply using a co-applicant with a higher credit score and add yourself as an authorized user on the account.

Can a tummy tuck be medically necessary?

Even though most insurance companies treat tummy tucks as purely cosmetic procedures, there are indeed medical benefits of a tummy tuck.  

Will insurance cover a tummy tuck due to back pain?

Extensive studies have shown that tummy tucks provide considerable relief to women affected by both back pain and incontinence after childbirth. The back pain can be triggered by a condition called diastasis recti – a separation of the abdominal muscle during and after pregnancy. A full tummy tuck repairs and thereby strengthens this muscle, which often improves the patient’s posture and thus relieves back pain.

Unfortunately, despite these proven health benefits of tummy tucks, most health insurance companies still treat them as purely cosmetic procedures. If you want to improve your post-partum quality of life, consider investing in a tummy tuck with a no-interest payment plan.

How do you get approved for a Panniculectomy?

A panniculectomy is the removal of hanging skin and fat from the abdomen to create a better contour. It is different from a tummy tuck in that it does not repair any underlying muscles. 

While tummy tucks are considered elective procedures, panniculectomies can be covered by insurance in very specific cases that meet the following minimum requirements:

To apply for approval for your panniculectomy with your insurance, you will have to document your case using pictures and possibly supporting letters from a physician.

We hope that we have helped you learn more about the medical benefits of tummy tucks and how to finance them. If you have any other questions, please contact us – we’re always happy to help! If you are ready to move forward with your tummy tuck, simply schedule a consultation with our plastic surgeon by clicking below.   

NuBody Concepts is a cosmetic surgery practice with offices in Nashville and Memphis, TN. We specialize in surgical-like results without scars or downtime to help women & men of all ages transform their bodies with a wide range of plastic surgery services. Our team of board-certified plastic surgeons achieve great results at an affordable price.

Each patient is unique. What your treatment will look like is determined by you and the plastic surgeon who you will meet with in a personal consultation.

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how do you get approved for a panniculectomy

A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the pannus — the excess skin and tissue from the lower abdomen. People who have lost a lot of weight can have their loose skin removed with this procedure.

The excess skin is sometimes referred to as an “apron.” However, unlike a tummy tuck, the panniculectomy does not tighten the abdominal muscles for a more cosmetic appearance, disqualifying it as a cosmetic procedure.

That said, removing the excess fat can make your abdominal area flatter. The panniculectomy can also be performed alongside a tummy tuck or other abdominal procedures.

Surgical costs can range from $8,000 to $15,000 for this procedure to cover anesthesia, surgeon, and facility fees. Since the panniculectomy is not typically seen as cosmetic surgery, your insurance provider may help pay for the procedure. But, you must meet specific criteria, and the panniculectomy must be seen as a medical necessity. Contact your health insurance provider to discuss your payment options.

After losing significant amounts of weight from exercise or surgery, people may be left with excess skin and loose tissue around the abdomen. The excess skin can cause skin rashes and irritation as well as odor from moisture.

You may be an ideal candidate for panniculectomy if:

A qualified plastic surgeon performs a panniculectomy. This invasive surgical procedure that can last up to five hours. During the surgery, an anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia to put you to sleep.

Your surgeon will then make two incisions:

The length of the cuts depends on how much skin needs to be removed. Through the incisions, the surgeon will remove excess fat and skin. The remaining skin and tissues are then pulled together and closed with stitches, and the incision areas are taped. Doctors may insert drains during the procedure to remove excess fluid.

In some cases, the belly button may be removed or repositioned. Your doctor will advise you of this in a consultation before making the decision in surgery.

Realself is a community-driven website where people can upload before and after photos following cosmetic surgery and write reviews. Photos of the panniculectomy procedure can be found here.

In most cases, a panniculectomy is an outpatient surgery. But depending on the extent of your procedure, you may be required to stay over night for observation and proper healing. Within your pre-consultation, your surgeon will advise you to have someone drive you home after surgery and help you for the first few days. There should be no heavy lifting or strenuous activities for a few weeks following your procedure.

Panniculectomy patients can expect pain and discomfort from swelling and bruising at the incision sites. Your stitches may be removed within a week while deeper sutures dissolve on their own. Complete recovery will take months and you will be required to have follow-up appointments with your doctor to ensure lasting results.

Patients are generally pleased with results and often lose 5–10 pounds from the surgery. Some patients may notice improvement in their physical activity and personal hygiene.

will insurance pay for tummy tuck if you have a hernia

Many of us know all about the benefits of tummy tuck surgery. Also known as an abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that tightens your stomach muscles. It removes excess skin and creases on your abdomen, which are the result of rapid weight loss, pregnancy, or aging.

It is a hugely popular cosmetic procedure with the numbers to prove it. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of tummy tuck surgeries increased by 87% between 2000 and 2014.

As much as an abdominoplasty can improve your physique, many have begun to turn to this cosmetic surgery procedure to correct physical complications such as hernias.

What is a Hernia?

A hernia occurs when a stomach organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue holding it in place. This usually happens when muscles in the stomach have weakened, often appearing in and around the belly button (navel).

When left untreated, it can lead to significant discomfort. Made worse by everyday actions such as sneezing, coughing, urinating or lifting heavy objects. More critically, this can even lead to severe damage, and perhaps the death of affected tissue.

Based on data from a 2015 study published in the The Journal of the American Medical Association, there were approximately 2.3 million in-patient abdominal hernia repairs between 2001 and 2010, roughly 567,000 of which were emergencies. Furthermore, such emergent hernia rates were most prevalent among adults 65 years and older.

Can a Tummy Tuck Cause a Hernia?

In short, there’s a chance that a tummy tuck causes a hernia. Developing a hernia is one of the usual risks, albeit an uncommon one, associated with undergoing an abdominoplasty. And because of this, many are left with the perception that the procedure causes hernias to develop.

Common hernias such as incisional hernias are located in the abdomen and can develop during or after an abdominoplasty. For instance, the sutures used to tighten the stomach muscles may accidentally damage the surrounding muscles. Conversely, it’s also possible it was already present before the tummy tuck procedure. It only became prevalent after removing the excess skin and fat surrounding it.

If you detect an abdominal bulge after undergoing a tummy tuck, be sure to inform your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon may ask you to get an MRI or CT scan to determine its cause.

Can You Perform A Tummy Tuck With Hernia Repair?

The short answer is yes. A tummy tuck can be performed with hernia repair. So, much like strengthening and tightening your stomach, a tummy tuck can similarly correct an umbilical hernia or ventral hernia.

The upper and lower abdomens are tightened during surgery. An incision is made around the belly button and extends to both sides of the hip, beneath the panty line.

Once the skin and tissue are lifted, your surgeon performs the hernia repair. They will push the protruding organ back behind the abdominal wall. The abdominal muscles are tightened and excess tissue is removed.

Final results can address weakened abdominal muscles and reduce pressure and discomfort on your skin.

The First Thing You Need To Do

Before undergoing a tummy tuck, be sure to consult first with your plastic surgeon to discuss how a hernia developed. Again, an MRI or CT scan can help pinpoint the cause.

You also need to look at the size of a hernia and whether your surgeon is comfortable treating it through abdominoplasty. If not, a general surgeon can perform the repair during the tummy tuck procedure. Either way, acquiring the insights and guidance from a specialist will go a long way in treating your condition. Under their care, you will learn about the right preparations, while understanding the risks you may encounter along the way.

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