Q: I had bariatic surgery four years ago. This has left me a lot of loose hanging skin as well as a prominent and painful bulge around my belly button. I have been told that it is a hernia and it certainly feels like it is. Are you qualified to fix a hernia and do tummy tuck? What is the normal price for this type of procedure as I currently have no insurance?
A: Thank you for your inquiry. It is extremely common to have to do a hernia repair with any type of abdominal contouring procedure for the bariatric patient, whether it is a simple abdominal panniculectomy, a fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty, or a circumferential body lift. Hernias are now less frequently found with the newer laparoscopic bypass surgeries than with the older open approaches but they are still relatively common. As a plastic surgeon, we routinuely fix hernias using a muscle repair technique rather than the placement of any type of synthetic mesh. This is easy to do with the wide open exposure that occurs with the tummy tuck procedure.
The cost of a ‘bariatric’ tummy tuck can be quite variable based on what type of abdominal procedure is really needed. There are three basic options for the extreme weight loss patient, whether they have lost the weight by bariatric surgery or not. There are two types of frontal cutouts (panniculectomy, fleur-de-lis tummy tuck) and the circumferential body lift. (360 degree tummy tuck or tummy tuck combined with a hip and buttock lift) To get an accurate quote, one has to know exactly what is going to be done. This being said, as an outpatient procedure done under general anesthesia, the total costs can range from $ 6,500 to $ 9,500.
Dr. Barry Eppley