Plastic Surgery For The Post Bariatric Patient – Is It Covered?

I see a lot of patient’s in my practice that have undergone bariatric weight loss surgery and now have excess hanging skin.  A common question is:  what, if anything, is covered by my insurance?

First, it is important to recognize that there are many different insurance companies out there each with different plans and criteria.  That being said, many insurance companies follow what Blue Cross Blue Shield use as their criteria for what that they consider medically necessary.

The procedure that may be covered is called a panniculectomy.  This is the removal of the excess hanging skin to the lower abdominal region.  This typically does not include tightening the underlying abdominal muscles or attending to the loose and excess skin above the belly button area.  As for the other procedures such arm lifts, chest lifts, breast lifts and thigh lifts, these are no covered by insurances.

If you still have large sized breasts even after weight loss, then sometimes a breast reduction will be covered if you meet the criteria.  It is important that with so many different insurance plans out there, that you first call your insurance company or look online to see what their criteria may be.

Secondly, find a plastic surgeon that participates in your insurance plan and schedule an appointment to sit down and talk with them about your concerns and what your individual options may be.