If you are contemplating a panniculectomy to remove your pectoral muscles, you should first check with your physician if panniculectomy is covered by your health insurance. If your insurance company provides coverage for elective surgeries, check, and see if your panniculectomy will also be covered. Some insurance companies will cover panniculectomy as an elective procedure if it is medically necessary, and it is not done because of cosmetic reasons. If your insurance company doesn’t cover panniculectomy, it’s probably time to get another plan.
Many times, panniculectomy covered by insurance also means removal of some or all of the pectoral muscles. This can be a very good panniculectomy option if weight loss is one of the primary goals. Panniculectomy surgery is performed with a laparoscope, similar to a surgical camera. The surgeon will make a small incision behind each pectoral muscle, and remove the skin where the muscle was attached, creating a new fold.
If your physician decides that panniculectomy is covered by your insurance, then you need to decide whether a tummy tuck or panniculectomy is more appropriate. A tummy tuck usually leaves a scar behind, as well as some skin slackening. The recovery process can take quite a while, as patients have to endure several weeks of pain medication. In addition, the scars left from a tummy tuck are much more noticeable than those from panniculectomy surgery. A panniculectomy, however, leaves no visible scars.
As you research panniculectomy surgery options, you should consider these facts. Does your doctor feel panniculectomy surgery is your best option? Is insurance company’s insurance policy acceptable to you? What are your chances of success?
You should know that panniculectomy is done on healthy patients who do not have any health conditions that would exclude them from undergoing this procedure. It is also done on people who are morbidly overweight. The morbidly obese people often have other health conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or renal failure. Sometimes they may even have cancer. When they undergo panniculectomy, their general anesthesia makes them unconscious.
Panniculectomy is done on patients whose weight is medically unfit for them to be able to withstand the surgery risks. If you have undergone panniculectomy, you will be sedated and your abdominal area will be opened. Your stomach will then be divided into two sections. One section will contain fats that are to be removed; the other section will contain incisions for your surgeon to remove the panniculus. Your surgeon may choose to remove the excess fat or muscle with the panniculectomy surgery. They may also choose to remove only the panniculus, leaving the remaining stomach intact.
Even though panniculectomy is performed under general anesthesia, you may still have some feeling in your chest. If you have undergone cosmetic surgery of this type, your insurance will cover your hospitalization costs, but the doctor’s bill will not. The good news is that if you can, you should choose to get panniculectomy to avoid any financial difficulties regarding your cosmetic surgery.
However, if you decide to panniculectomy as a cosmetic procedure for your breast reduction, it is best to get your surgery covered by your insurance company instead. Although most cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance companies, panniculectomy is one exception. Please check with your medical provider about your cosmetic procedure and about your coverage policy before you make any medical necessity decisions.
What if my insurance company does not cover panniculectomy? The good news is that panniculectomy is still covered as a covered medical necessity by many plastic surgery financing companies. Most of these companies only require that you give them permission to perform the procedure. Usually, you are also asked to fill out a short application form which details your medical history, your physical condition, any medications you are currently taking, your estimated reading time and your surgical preferences.
The surgery is scheduled for either a full panniculectomy or for partial panniculectomy depending on the extent of your excess skin around your abdomen. Full panniculectomy involves removal of your navel, stomach, upper portion of your breast below the pubic area and your excess skin around your abdomen. A partial panniculectomy involves removal of only your navel and stomach.
Your plastic surgery provider will advise you whether you are eligible for panniculectomy based on the factors detailed in the application form. If you meet the pre-planned panniculectomy parameters, then your provider will ask you to sign a consent form. It is recommended that you read and understand all the information provided in the consent form before signing it. You can expect your provider to charge you extra for additional consultation as your treatment gets more complicated..