Tummy Tuck ( Abdominoplasty) (cont.)
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Taking Care of Yourself After Surgery
Whether you're having a partial or complete tummy tuck, your incision site will be stitched and bandaged. It's very important that you follow all your surgeon's instructions on how to care for the bandage in the days following surgery. The bandage used will be a firm, elastic band that promotes proper healing. Your surgeon will also instruct you on how to best position yourself while sitting or lying down to help ease pain.
If you are an exceptionally physically active person,you will have to severely limit strenuous exercise for at least six weeks. Your doctor will advise you on this as you go through the process. You may need to take up to one month off of work after the surgery to ensure proper recovery. Again, your doctor will help you determine this based on your personal situation.
Return to Living
Generally, most people love the new look after they've undergone this procedure. However, you may not feel like your normal self for months after the surgery. You've gone through a tremendous amount to make this happen, both emotionally and physically, and it's very important that you follow proper diet and exercise to maintain your new look.
Does Insurance Cover a Tummy Tuck?
Insurance carriers generally do not cover elective, cosmetic surgery. However, your carrier may cover a certain percentage if you have a hernia that will be corrected through the procedure, or your anterior muscles are abnormally spread.
It's extremely important that you begin communicating with your insurance company early on, and that you discuss your insurance concerns with your surgeon. In most cases, your surgeon will write a letter to your insurance carrier, making the case for medical necessity, if it applies to you.
It's also very important to realize that insurance may only cover certain portions of the surgery, so make sure you get details. With any cosmetic surgery, this may affect future insurance coverage for you and your premiums may increase.
Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic, Department of Plastic Surgery.
Edited by Charlotte E. Grayson , MD, Sept. 2003.
Portions of this page © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2003.
Last Editorial Review: 1/31/2005