CTGirl74

Considering Plastic Surgery and Not Sure Where to Start

35 posts in this topic

I'm about 35 pounds away from my goal weight.  I was closer, but regained about 20 pounds.  I'm now back on the right track.  

At my last two follow-up appointments (1.5 yrs and 2 yrs) my surgeon suggested checking out a few plastic surgeons.  I, of course, didn't think to ask him any questions, but now that I'm home, I've been thinking more about it and have a few questions.

  • When is the right time to start scheduling consultations?  
  • Should I wait until I'm at my goal, or should I go now so I can establish a relationship and know what I need to do to prepare?
  • Do all plastic surgeons charge for a consultation?  I'm seeing 50.00-100.00 on a few websites.
  • Is it tough to get insurance to recognize skin removal as medically necessary?  

I'm sure there are lots of other questions I'm not thinking of, but I'll start here.  Thanks!

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My program recommends being at goal weight before scheduling a consult and waiting until I've been stable at or below goal weight for at least 6-months.  I waited until my 2 year surgiversary to have the consult, its scheduled for next month.  Even thought I have a decent amount of loose skin I'm not convinced I'll have it removed, I would probably only do so if there were a medical benefit.  We'll see what the consult reveals.

duffman27 likes this

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My plastic surgeon advised being at or below goal for at least three months. I had no consultation fee and my consult lasted almost 3 hours.

Amber76bailey likes this

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My plastic surgeon advised being at or below goal for at least three months. I had no consultation fee and my consult lasted almost 3 hours.

Wow!  Three hours?  Guess I'll make sure I take the day off from work!

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My program recommends being at goal weight before scheduling a consult and waiting until I've been stable at or below goal weight for at least 6-months.  I waited until my 2 year surgiversary to have the consult, its scheduled for next month.  Even thought I have a decent amount of loose skin I'm not convinced I'll have it removed, I would probably only do so if there were a medical benefit.  We'll see what the consult reveals.

I never thought I would care about the loose skin.  I mean, I don't exactly care about how it looks necessarily, although I do to some extent.  It's more that it's such a pain in the @*# to shop for pants, and it gets uncomfortable when I'm in bed (I'm a side sleeper).   Good luck at your consult!

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Wow!  Three hours?  Guess I'll make sure I take the day off from work!

I was surprised too! They were so thorough and answered every question possible. I was very impressed at my first visit and am still impressed by the surgeon and practice three years later. There is no doubt in my mind that when I'm ready for the next procedure, I will be going back to Dr. Murphy.

you need to feel completely comfortable. Very important.

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I also waited until I was at goal. I knew insurance wouldn't cover my procedures so I didn't try. If you have rashes, make sure you are documenting them with your PCP or  WLS dr. My wls dr.  recommended my PS and I love him. I had two consults, both were free. Good Luck!

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Not only should you be at goal, but more importantly you should be weight stable for a year. Yes, it is a challenge to get insurance coverage for skin removal but not impossible. People have had it covered. It depends on your plan's criteria. Find out what that is by calling your health insurance and asking what determines if plastic surgery is medically necessary, and what documentation is needed to prove that. 

Most plastic surgeons do not charge for a consult. Some do. 

I hope this helps! Good luck!

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I was at goal (140) but when I had my consultation, my surgon wanted to see me lose 10 more pounds to insure he could pull and get as much skin as possible. So don't be surprised if you are asked to lose a few more pounds. I paid out of pocket 22,000 tummy, bat wings, breast lift and implants.... I also went to 4 different surgons for consultation (all were free) before deciding on the surgon I chose. I DID NOT like the scare placement with the others. Jagged, not straight or smooth at all plus they told me I could only be a C cup..... the surgon I chose said I could go as big as I wanted, we would just need to do the lift, heal for 8 weeks to allow the skin to recover then go back in to add implants. Why did the other surgons not think of this? So happy I went the route I did. only down side is I walked around with a tinny A cup for 8 weeks lol. So glad I kept searching.... do your homework, go to a few different surgons and be happy,  completely happy with who you choose. 

athenarose likes this

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Double post. 

Edited by Amber76bailey

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  • When is the right time to start scheduling consultations?  I would say usually when you've been at goal weight for a year. 
  • Should I wait until I'm at my goal, or should I go now so I can establish a relationship and know what I need to do to prepare? If you go now, it may motivate you to lose weight even more quickly. 
  • Do all plastic surgeons charge for a consultation?  I'm seeing 50.00-100.00 on a few websites. Nearly all surgeons that I met with offered free consultations. 
  • Is it tough to get insurance to recognize skin removal as medically necessary?  Yes. But it is not impossible. 

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Thanks for the input everyone! I've been watching that new show Skin Tight and its helped me get excited about what I can look like afterwards. Looks like a lot of pain, but seems like it would be worth it.

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Just wanted to come back and follow up on my post. 

So, I went for the consultation a couple weeks ago. My personal trainer was encouraging me to go as soon as possible, so I did. Although I'm still working on losing the last 20 pounds or so, he wanted me to go so it would help me keep my focus--my workout routine is at the point where it's a lot of repetitive not-so-fun stuff and it sometimes takes a lot of determination and motivation to workout--and I could get an idea of what I still need to do before surgery.   I took a recommendation from a member of the local WLS Facebook support group. The surgeon has lots of experience with post-WLS skin removal.  

I have to admit, I was nervous once I finally got into the examining room. All I could think was that I shouldn't do this, I don't need to do this, do I really want to do this, etc. But I went through with it, and I'm glad I did. My husband went with me. I was surprised when he asked me when the appointment was so that he could arrange with work to come with me. Not surprised at him being supportive, but surprised that he would actually want to go with me. (I told him he just wants to play with the breast implants in the office. LOL)

The surgeon recommended a combo of panniculectomy and abdominoplasty.  Although the underarms are a bit saggy, as are the upper thighs, she felt that I didn't need to have anything else done. I meet her criteria:  must be at least 18 months out from surgery and have 6 months at a stable weight.  (There was a third criteria to meet, and I do, but can't remember what it is at the moment.)  Although I had a small weight gain , I am on my way back down from it and she's not concerned--I'm seeing a trainer and I'm on a steady downward trend.  She was very nice and explained everything in plain terms, answered my questions, etc. She poked and prodded, then took some pictures for the insurance submission. She said she's been having good luck with insurance approvals lately, so isn't concerned. She said if it's not approved for some reason, or if the panniculectomy is and the abdominoplasty isn't, she would reduce her fees and work with me on it. I had to complete a records release so they could get the records from my bariatric surgeon, then they will submit to the insurance. She said that would take about a month for an answer. Once approved, I'd have 6 months in which to have the surgery, which is perfect because I want to have it done somewhere around January/February.  Wish me luck!!

bellamoma, LeeC, WendyH and 3 others like this

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Another update.

Well, insurance denied me. Turns out my employer has completely excluded plastic surgery for skin removal. Doesn't matter if it's medically necessary or not. I asked about an appeal, and that's when the surgeon's office said we can't because of the complete exclusion. She explained that I could appeal to my employer, but that's up to me if I want to do that. So I asked for a "self pay" quote. I lived in dread for five days while I waited for that call. All I could think was that it would be $20k or more and it would be forever out of my reach, as there was no way I wanted to get a loan or use a credit card (I'm cleaning up massive debt).  So I got the call the other day...and it's only 7,096.00 for the panniculectomy and full abdominoplasty with lipo!! I decided I'm not going to appeal to my employer. If I was truly having a ton of issues with rashes and such, or if this was life-saving surgery, I might, but my annual bonus at work, as well as some recent casino winnings, will pay for it.   So, needless to say, I'm going for the surgery!  It will be sometime in February, as I work in a bank and the examiners will be in at the end of the year. Plus I'm short-staffed at the moment, so now is not a good time. Gives me time to save money anyway. So, yeah, I'm over the moon!!

 

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Hello:

great questions.  Some plastic surgeons charge for consultations, others do not.

some on the answers will be what is right for you.  I lost 90 fairly quickly after my surgery and have maintained since.  I had surgery 18 months ago.  Had a extended tummy tuck to remove skin and a breast reduction lift seven days ago.  For me, I was ready at this stage but we are all different and ready at different times.

From what I have read, insurance rarely covers for skin removal after weight loss.  However, if you are having rashes and other issues from the excess skin, I would have all that documented in your medical files.  I knew a gal who was denied but was having lots of problems with a certain area of excess skin.  Her doctor documented all the medical issues and strongly said it had become a medical necessity to have this particular area of skin removed (only the stomach area that was causing problems).  The put in the claim with all the times she had seen the doctor for these issues and the insurance ended up paying for the skin removal in that area.  Thus, I would see a doctor for any issues it may be causes and have it documented.

for me, I wanted to be at my goal weight for awhile to make sure I could maintain it as well as to become comfortable with my new way of eating and living before surgery.  But, what is right for you might be very different, there are lots of thoughts and opinions but do what is right for you.

by the way, the price for your surgery is great.  Califirnis is expensive, I guess.  I paid around $20,500 for abdominoplasty and a breast reduction lift with some lipo.  Paid $1,400 for two nights at a very nice after are facility for plastic surgeon patients.  I still might have a thigh lift.  My arms have a bit of excess skin but I'm willing to live with that.  I have a droopy rear end but I think I am ok with that also.  

Whatever you choose, I wish you the very best and hope to read about it.  Good for you. 

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Good for you for going for your dreams and not letting the barriers deter you. That is a good price for the tummy tuck -- same as I paid 3.5 years ago! Who is your surgeon? I hope that you get everything that you wish for!!!

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20 hours ago, My Bariatric Life said:

Good for you for going for your dreams and not letting the barriers deter you. That is a good price for the tummy tuck -- same as I paid 3.5 years ago! Who is your surgeon? I hope that you get everything that you wish for!!!

Mari Rebane-Mazzotta.  Thanks! 

Now that I know it's happening, I keep thinking about the pain, the drains, the belly button relocation  (!!) and how the heck I'm going to shower and do my hair. That last one is super trivial, but I have naturally curly, thick hair that needs to be washed and gelled in order to be tamed. I'm sure I'll figure something out.

My Bariatric Life likes this

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On Friday, September 23, 2016 at 1:55 AM, Madison2015 said:

Hello:

great questions.  Some plastic surgeons charge for consultations, others do not.

some on the answers will be what is right for you.  I lost 90 fairly quickly after my surgery and have maintained since.  I had surgery 18 months ago.  Had a extended tummy tuck to remove skin and a breast reduction lift seven days ago.  For me, I was ready at this stage but we are all different and ready at different times.

From what I have read, insurance rarely covers for skin removal after weight loss.  However, if you are having rashes and other issues from the excess skin, I would have all that documented in your medical files.  I knew a gal who was denied but was having lots of problems with a certain area of excess skin.  Her doctor documented all the medical issues and strongly said it had become a medical necessity to have this particular area of skin removed (only the stomach area that was causing problems).  The put in the claim with all the times she had seen the doctor for these issues and the insurance ended up paying for the skin removal in that area.  Thus, I would see a doctor for any issues it may be causes and have it documented.

for me, I wanted to be at my goal weight for awhile to make sure I could maintain it as well as to become comfortable with my new way of eating and living before surgery.  But, what is right for you might be very different, there are lots of thoughts and opinions but do what is right for you.

by the way, the price for your surgery is great.  Califirnis is expensive, I guess.  I paid around $20,500 for abdominoplasty and a breast reduction lift with some lipo.  Paid $1,400 for two nights at a very nice after are facility for plastic surgeon patients.  I still might have a thigh lift.  My arms have a bit of excess skin but I'm willing to live with that.  I have a droopy rear end but I think I am ok with that also.  

Whatever you choose, I wish you the very best and hope to read about it.  Good for you. 

Had my employer written it into the policy, my doctor believes I had enough documentation to get it covered.  Hut since they've compete excluded it, I can't appeal. I could ask my employer, but for 7k I don't see the point. It's not the hill I want to die on. If it was 20k and I had more complications I'd consider it. 

I'm curious as to whether the abdominoplasty will pull my breast down.I've been thinking about that. I know they pull all the skin down tight and it seems like it would affect the height of my breasts. But maybe not. Juse weird things I'm thinking about now LOL

Raeme likes this

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On 9/24/2016 at 5:52 AM, CTGirl74 said:

 

I'm curious as to whether the abdominoplasty will pull my breast down.I've been thinking about that. I know they pull all the skin down tight and it seems like it would affect the height of my breasts. But maybe not. Juse weird things I'm thinking about now LOL

It won't. The skin is pulled up, not down.

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On 9/24/2016 at 5:52 AM, CTGirl74 said:

 

I'm curious as to whether the abdominoplasty will pull my breast down.I've been thinking about that. I know they pull all the skin down tight and it seems like it would affect the height of my breasts. But maybe not. Juse weird things I'm thinking about now LOL

It won't. The skin is pulled up, not down.

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On 9/27/2016 at 1:03 PM, Stephtay said:

It won't. The skin is pulled up, not down.

Thanks!  

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I've set the date!!  February 27. :)  

So, I'm wondering what to expect in terms of needing help after surgery. I'm having the panniculectomy with full abdominoplasty. Not sure how much help I'll need with the bathroom and getting around.  My husband is taking at least a week off.  And my cousin will be coming from out of state to help and keep me company. Wondering if it's best to have them both there when I'm out, or maybe have my cousin arrive two or three days later. She's 70 (but very young at heart and in decent shape) so I wouldn't expect her to help me with getting up and all that. It's more for general assistance, company, lots of movie-watching, etc.

I think my husband feels like I don't want him to help me afterwards, so I'm trying to be sensitive to that, also. He originally said he'd take a month off and buy vacation at work. I told him no, I won't need that much help for that long of a period. Plus, I really don't want him to use up all his vacation if he doesn't need to; he usually takes several days in the summer for camping with the guys. I also want my cousin to come for as long as she can since I really enjoy my visits with her and I can tell she really wants to come. 

LeeC likes this

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I went for my pre-op appointment today. Only 7 weeks to go until surgery!  Can anyone recommend a place to get the post-surgical binder garment?  My surgeon gave me a book from Marena Group, but I'm wondering where else I can look. She said I can get the garment anywhere I want, but that I need to get a certain type. She recommended a bikini-length girdle, 1st stage. It has suspenders and a hook-and-eye crotch.

Hubby was so nice and got me several things for Christmas to assist with recovery:  a heated throw blanket, fleece pajama pants, a wedge pillow for the bed, and some puzzles.

 

Raeme likes this

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did you check amazon?

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On 1/4/2017 at 7:13 PM, Clickin said:

did you check amazon?

I just did. I can't decide what to get. They have one that's like the one my surgeon recommended with the hook-and-eye crotch, but I saw one that has a high back open crotch and wonder if that might be easier. Considering how tight these garments are, I wonder if it might be difficult to close the crotch by myself after bathroom visits.

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