Q: Dr. Eppley, I recently learned that I have two ruptured disc in my back and pressure on a nerve. I am wanting to know if I was to get a tummy tuck, liposuction, etc would it help with my back pain?
A: Whether a tummy tuck would provide any relief of our back pain would largely depend on the size of the abdominal overhang. Some tummy tuck/abdominal panniculectomy patients do report that they do have improvements in back pain after the procedure due to the loss of an overhanging abdominal pannus or even lesser amounts of skin and fat excess. But whether a tummy tuck would help you can not be predicted and is certainly not a common improvement that occurs after any abdominal reshaping procedure. Unlike breast reduction surgery which causes musculoskeletal symptom improvement in every patient, back pain improvement from a tummy tuck is far less assured. This is evidenced by the fact that no insurance company will approve tummy tuck surgery on the basis as a treatment for chronic back pain with or without ruptured discs and/or sciatic nerve pain.
Dr. Barry Eppley