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Candidates For Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck is a surgery that can flatten the abdominal area by removing excess fat and skin and also repairing abdominal muscles that have been separated, torn, or damaged. There are only a few requirements for a tummy tuck candidate including that the surgery is open to an individual age 18 and up under most circumstances.

tummy tuck requirements

Good candidates for tummy tucks are:

  • Individuals who are in overall good health;
  • Individuals who do not smoke or are willing to quit 4 months before surgery. Smoking affects the healing properties of the body;
  • Women who have their abdominal muscles damaged and skin stretched due to pregnancy;
  • Men or women who have lost a significant amount of weight, possibly through weight loss surgery or procedure, and have loose skin and excess fat deposits that linger.

A Mini Tummy Tuck Candidate

An individual who is close to their ideal weight and fairly physically fit but has minor excess fat deposits and some loose skin to address on their lower abdomen (below the belly button) can be a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck.

A 360 Tummy Tuck Candidate

A circumferential tummy tuck candidate has usually lost a tremendous amount of weight (over 70 pounds) and has excess fat and loose skin on their entire trunk. This would include both the upper and lower abdomen, sides, hips, flanks, and back.

An Extended Tummy Tuck Candidate

A good candidate for extended abdominoplasty is one who in addition to the areas that would be addressed through a full tummy tuck, also has excess fat and loose skin on their hips and sides that need to be addressed.

Who Is Not A Good Candidate For Abdominoplasty?

Unfortunately, not everyone is a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery. These factors may delay your abdominoplasty:

  • You are a woman who plans to get pregnant in the future. The repair and cosmetic work done during the tummy tuck will be “undone” during pregnancy so you may wish to postpone a tummy tuck until you are done having children.
  • You may wish to wait to have a tummy tuck until you have reached close to your ideal weight. A tummy tuck will enhance your weight loss results but is not a weight loss procedure.
  • You do not wish to have any scarring. Abdominoplasty will leave a visible scar but you can talk with your doctor about he length and placement.

Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction

If you have ever asked yourself “Do I need a tummy tuck or lipo?”. It is important to understand the difference. A tummy tuck is not the same as liposuction, however often the two are combined to yield the best results.

Liposuction is a technique that liquefies or melts fat from unwanted locations and vacuums it out of the body. Liposuction helps smooth out areas and create more defined contours and when combined with a tummy tuck provides optimal results.

Does Insurance Cover A Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is considered cosmetic surgery and is not covered on insurance plans so there are no insurance requirements for a tummy tuck.

Tummy Tuck vs. Panniculectomy Candidate

Unlike a traditional tummy tuck that addresses mild or moderate loose skin, a patient may have lost a massive amount of weight and might have a severe amount of loose skin hanging down below their pubic region. This patient may not be a good candidate for a tummy tuck but might be a panniculectomy candidate. This type of loose skin can often cause infections, ulcers, rashes, and other issues. This surgery is often considered medically necessary and covered by most medical insurance.

During a panniculectomy, the surgeon removes loose skin that hangs from the lower abdomen and falls below the pubic area. You may not be a panniculectomy candidate if you have a medical condition such as heart disease or diabetes.

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