Can I Get My Tummy Tuck Paid For By Insurance Due To My Painful Scars?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have been interested in maybe some breast implants with a lift, but also a tummy tuck. I am 46, with three c-sections and have had laparoscopies and I have a tendency to keloid.  For many years, my belly button has developed keloids, and my Ob/Gyn would attempt to remove them permanently, this last time (2-3 years ago), gave me a “mini” tummy tuck during the revision surgery and all was paid for by insurance.  The keloids came back, it frequently smells and oozes, and of course, is painful to the touch underneath all the bumpy skin.  Do you think I could have this corrected and have some of it covered by insurance due to the ongoing medical issue of infection?

A: Without seeing some pictures of yoru abdominal concerns, I can not give a definite answer as to what may be the best treatment. But as a general concept about scars, tummy tucks and insurance, I can say that this is not a likely scenario to get it covered by insurance. It is understandable why you would think they should, and they may provide coverage for excision of the hypertrophic/keloid scars on their own, but it is not reasonable or ethical practice to expect to get some form of a tummy tuck as part of it. The tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure and is not instrumental in solving the scar issues.The insurance industry views such physician behavior with one word…fraud. So this is not a practice that board-certified and reputable plastic surgeons would endorse or participate in.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana