Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a gastric bypass surgery three years ago to lose weight. I have lost nearly 200 pounds. I am a 50 year-old female. My primary insurance is Medicare and my secondary is Champ VA. i did not have to pay a penny for my gastric bypass. I saw a story on my local news tonight about Cool Sculpting. A procedure that costs $1,500. by a doctor in California. One place locally here has given me a quote of $7,600 tor a tummy tuck, but there is no way I’ll ever be able to save that much money. I have no credit cards. I don’t even have a car or a phone. I cannot afford a monthly payment on a car much less the insurance. Nor can I afford a monthly payment on a phone. My car broke down last year with a cracked engine in January. I rent a car when I need to go out of town. Thank you.
A: When one has lost 200 lbs, the overall circumferential body problem is too much skin. Do not waste your time and money on anything other than a major tummy tuck operation. There is nothing less than a big operation to cut out the extra tissues that will work. You may have luck finding a plastic surgeon who takes Medicare to do your surgery (which is very scarce) or you may be able to have it done in a VA. But other than these unlikely options, being able to do a tummy tuck like you would undoubtably need at just $7,600 is a bargain. Whomever offered to do your surgery at that very low rate for a tummy tuck like you would need was doing you a major favor.
Dr. Barry Eppley