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Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Abdominodermatolipectomy

Explore what others have to say about surgery of the abdominal wall (abdominoplasty) with answers by Dr. Michael Bermant, MD.

Michael Bermant, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

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This is the page where you can review questions and stories from patients, view the opinions of lay persons, and see answers from Dr. Bermant and other physicians. Do you want to ask a question, post an answer, or make a comment? Information E-mailed to me will be considered for posting.

  • Why did you choose to have the surgery?
  • How did you choose your doctor?
  • How much did it cost?
  • Was the final cost the same as what you were told before the surgery?
  • How was the recovery?
  • Were there any complications? How were they resolved?
  • How do you feel about the results?
  • Did it have any effect on your life
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  • How did others react to your surgery?
  • Did you learn any lessons?
  • What would you advise others?

Information posted in this section does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Dr. Bermant.

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Subj: Prior Tummy Tuck Patient of Dr. Bermant - 17 years after surgery

Dr Bermant,

My name is ---- I was an RN at ---- Hosp ... and17 years ago you did a tummy tuck for me. I now reside in California and found your website in google. I have been wondering how you have been all these years. I have to tell you that you did a beautiful job on my stomach and it still looks great, I moved to california before I could come back to see you  for the 1 year post surg visit  you had asked me to do. Just wanted to  drop a line and thank you for the wonderfull job you did.

Dr. Bermant responds:

Glad to hear from you and that things are going so well. I appreciate the positive feedback.

Michael Bermant, MD

Subj: Traveling Nurse Who Has Seen Dr. Bermant's Tumescent Tummy Tuck Has Lost Weight and Wants Stomach Sculpture for Herself

Hello , my name is D and I am interested in a tummy tuck. I am a travel nurse who frequents Johnston Willis hospital and have seen first hand the beautiful work Dr. Bermant performs. I , myself have lost approx. 130 lbs over the last 2 years since my pregnancy, which included a c-section with a barely visible scar. I was wondering if Dr. Bermant offered a payment program for this kind of surgery?
 
Thank you,
 
D

Dr. Bermant responds:

Thank your for your kind words about my tummy tuck abdominoplasty sculpture.

Congratulations on your weight loss! Loose skin just does not shrink after weight loss as much as we might like. We are happy to help you explore your options during a consultation or preliminary remote discussion. Jane is my office manager and can better help with your payment options. She can normally be reached at our office by phone Monday - Friday 9-5 Eastern Time at (804) 748-7737.

Michael Bermant, MD

Swelling After Revision Surgery for Tummy Tuck Abdominoplasty from California

Hello, Dr. Bermant,

A cousin of mine had surgery in your office quite some time ago, and loved the result. I reside in California, and in Nov had extended abdominoplasty with lipo by a doctor here in San Diego County.

I am short, and short-waisted, so compression garment (stage 1 and 2) did not really fit well, so that most of the swelling migrated to mons pubis area. Recently I had touch-up procedure to mons pubis area (additional lipo). It is only one month later, so maybe my concern is premature, but this area is still very large.

Have you ever encountered this issue? Is there a specialized compression garment for the pubic/genital area?

With much thanks for your help, and thanks for taking such good care of my cousin.

D

Dr. Bermant responds:

Thank your for your kind words about my tummy tuck abdominoplasty sculpture on your cousin.

Deformity and swelling after surgery depend the original problem to be treated, surgical techniques, skill of your surgeon, how you heal, and many other factors. One month after revision surgery can be very early for some techniques. What you see on my website about abdominoplasty tummy tuck is typical for my patients. You should be directing your questions to your surgeon or someone who can evaluate the problems and what was done.

We do see many patients from California and are glad to help you explore your concerns during a second opinion preliminary remote discussion or in office consultation. There is a fee for this service. To better understand the problem, we like to also review operative reports, office notes, before surgery photographs whenever possible.

If you are interested in setting up a consultation for a second opinion, Jane is my office manager. She can normally be reached at our office by phone Monday - Friday 9-5 Eastern Time at (804) 748-7737.

Michael Bermant, MD

Subj: Re: Abdominoplasty and Belly Buttons

Have you ever heard of a tummy tuck with the navel having no stitches. Someone e-mailed me and said her surgeon stitched her new navel from inside and thus, no stitches on the outside! I'm having a tummy tuck and lipo in two weeks by a doctor in NY; traveling all the way from Mass. to have this done as NY is known for their plastic surgeons. Any tips would be appreciated. Think I'll be able to go to my dinner function two weeks post-op. I do LOVE my doctor, but any more helpful hints would be appreciated. Thanks.

M

Dr. Bermant responds:

This should not be construed as medical advice. I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

Some patients can have the belly button moved by slicing the deepest part from under the abdominal flap. Resuturing the navel in its new position has no scar around the belly button. Most of us reconstruct the navel such that the scar usually lies within its depression. In other patients needing only a minimal tummy tuck, the navel does not need to be moved - no scar. There is usually a change in the appearance in the navel after most major abdominoplasty (tummy tucks). You can learn more about belly button plastic surgery here.

A good relationship with you doctor is very important. Your doctor should be your best resource for the little hints.

I hope this information proves of some use. If my office can be of further assistance, please let us know. We can be reached at: (804) 748-7737. My staff and I try to ensure the comfort of our out of town guests during their consultations and procedures.

Michael Bermant, MD

Subj: Re: Are your patients usually satisfied with their tummy tuck?

Hi, I am a 42 year old white female. I have had 3 full term pregnancies and I have been 50 pounds overweight. In the past year I have lost the 50 excess pounds with diet and excersise. Needless to say I have stretched my abdominal muscles and skin past the point of return. I am satisfied with my body with the exception of my hips and abdomen. I have consulted with a plastic surgeon and I am scheduled to undergo an "around the world" tummy tuck in about a week. My Doctor feels that I am an excellent candidate for the procedure and that I have realistic expectations regarding the results that I will achieve. I excersise daily (I run 15 miles a week and do strength and toning), my Doctor feels that this will facilitate my recovery and maximize the benefits of the procedure. My questions are; Are most of your patients satisfied with the results achieved with the procedure? Do you have any patients that have expressed regret following the procedure? I have discussed these issues with my Doctor and he has not tried to "white wash" any of his answers. He has told me that if I don't have unrealistic expectations then I should be very satisfied, of course nothing is a 100% guarantee. I would just like to hear from another source. I hope that you will be able to answer before my surgery date.

Thank you for your time.

Dr. Bermant responds:

This should not be construed as medical advice. I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

Yes, most of my patients are satisfied with the tummy tuck abdominoplasty operation. You can read typical responses here for my tumescent tummy tuck and male tumescent tummy tuck here. Hearing the emotions behind the words can be more powerful. You can Listen to My Patients Talk About Their Tummy Tucks. Someone with realistic expectations has a much better chance of being happy with surgery. I do not remember one patient saying they were unhappy with having such surgery. Tummy tuck surgery usually has a high satisfaction rate from what I have seen. Of course there are no guarantees. I wish you luck in your surgery.

I hope this information proves of some use. If my office can be of further assistance, please let us know. We can be reached at: (804) 748-7737. My staff and I try to ensure the comfort of our out of town guests during their consultations and procedures.

Michael Bermant, MD

Subj: Tummy-tuck from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Hello,

I am currently considering a tummy-tuck. I live in Pennsylvania and recently consulted a plastic surgeon in Pittsburgh. I am encouraged by the surgeons suggestions. I initially asked about liposuction and was told that due to 2 c-sections and other abdominal surgery a tummy-tuck was more what I was looking for. I am sure that I would like to have this surgery and I am trying to psych myself so that I have a positive outcome. I am concerned about the pain, the intensity. I am prone to getting panicked when I don't feel well. In your opinion is the pain comparable to a c-section. I realize that you cannot say for sure, but I would feel better if I can anticipate a realistic measurement of pain endured.

thank you,

c

Dr. Bermant responds:

This should not be construed as medical advice. I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

We see many patients from Pennsylvania and around the world who prefer my techniques. There are different operations that fall under the general topic "tummy tuck" or abdominoplasty. A mini abdominoplasty can be much less extensive than surgery exposing the entire abdominal region and thus hurt less. Work on the rectus muscles (tummy muscles) has its own discomfort associated with it and can be somewhat close to the pain of a C section from what I would estimate. Each patient reacts to each surgery differently. Different activities also create different discomforts.

You have valid questions. Your own doctor is the best person to answer them. I would want my patients to ask me about their concerns.

I hope this information proves of some use. If my office can be of further assistance, please let us know. We can be reached at: (804) 748-7737. My staff and I try to ensure the comfort of our out of town guests during their consultations and procedures.

Michael Bermant, MD

Subj: Abdomen and Folds of Skin

My name is S... 33 years old in good health. I'm writing in search of information of what to do for my uncomfortable overlapped abdomen. I often get rashes in the crevice of the scar and use over the counter Triple Anitibiotic Ointments, I'm way too embarrassed to see my doctor about it, I can't stand for anyone to look at it. For 16 years, I've been incapable of feeling beautiful or comfortable in intimate situations, and although I cannot aford it, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make this hideous disfiguration disappear.

Attached are a few photos, I live in Rochester NY, Blue Choice Select medical insurance. Do you have any suggestions? Please advice.

Thank you.

S

Dr. Bermant responds:

This should not be construed as medical advice. I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

You may benefit from one of the many operations that fit under the heading of abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Such surgery can redrape the skin over the abdomen, improve scar contour abnormalities, and tighten abdominal wall muscles. There are significant risks for such surgery. Many times this type of surgery is not a covered benefit of insurance policies when for cosmetic (appearance reasons only). Other times it may be. You should start your education process by having an in office consultation with a plastic surgeon. Many patients have similar concerns and want to hide what their stomach looks like. Although you may feel embarrassed, try to express yourself to your doctor. Hiding your concerns from someone interested in your general health can be a problem.

I hope this information proves of some use. If my office can be of further assistance, please let us know. We can be reached at: (804) 748-7737. My staff and I try to ensure the comfort of our out of town guests during their consultations and procedures.

Michael Bermant, MD

Subj: Re: Stomach After Massive Weight Loss

I am a 46 yr. old man who lost 165 lbs. 5yrs. ago through a weight management program with my physican. As wonderful as that is and my ability to maintain, I still have large roll of fat and flab around my middle. (My estiments are that if removed, I would go from a size 38 pants to a size 32 pants or less). Cost is a factor but that is where we get into a gray area. I've had 2 operations on my back due to degenerative disc problems (3 removed, rods,screws titanium baskets, etc.) One of these procedures resulted in a very serious infection in the flabby area of my stomach (anterior procedure) because of the fat. My personal feeling is that if the additional weight of this fat (guessing maybe 15-20 lbs.) were removed, there would be considerably less stress on my back. What is your feeling on this and how do insurance companies view this as this procedure would be much less than the $53,000 that my first operation cost.

B

Dr. Bermant responds:

This should not be construed as medical advice. I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

After massive weight loss, plastic surgery has much to offer. It sounds like you need to start the education process for an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Although I feel that anyone forced to wear an extra 15-20 pounds strapped to their bodies would agree that such surgery should be covered, many insurance companies give their members problems for such surgery. Remember these companies are in business for profit, not the benefit of their subscribers. Many claim such surgery is "not medically necessary". Others are denying even more basic surgery such as congenital defects, reconstruction after trauma and cancer. I have heard medical directors deny abdominoplasty saying "let them loose the fat with exercise and dieting, they can live with the extra skin, it's not a REAL medical problem". Eventually the public will decide what they want, our older system or this new mess.

For those patients caught in an insurance bind we make such surgery affordable. It depends on the type surgery but typical abdominoplasty surgeon's fee can be found here. There are additional fees for the operating room and anesthesia. These total costs are a lot lower that the $53,000 you mentioned.

I hope this information proves of some use. If my office can be of further assistance, please let us know. We can be reached at: (804) 748-7737. My staff and I try to ensure the comfort of our out of town guests during their consultations and procedures.

Michael Bermant, MD

Subj: Re: Re: Are your patients usually satisfied with their tummy tuck?

Just checking in and letting you know that I did have the tummy tuck and I am thrilled with the results. I still have some swelling so I haven't seen the full benefit (it's only been 11 days). I believe that the fact that I was in top physical condition has helped with my recovery. I also believe that an open dialog with my physician about my concerns and expectations was a great help. I hope that all of your patients have the same experience that I have, it is a NO REGRETS procedure. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my previous message, you were a great help in my final decision.

Dr. Bermant responds:

I am glad things are working out for you.

Michael Bermant, MD

Tummy Tuck After Weight Loss - Insurance Issues

DR. BERMANT Cuold you please e mail me any info on cases or ways to make an ins. company help pay for a abdominoplasty I have lost close two 300 lbs before my surgrey and in which now my diabetes as left and now that I have had the surgeries needed I have a much better mobilty to exercise and keep it off the ins comany said that they would pay for part then backed out. I have 3 doctors stating it was ness. for me to live and active life to keep the weight off and they have just give me the run around any help you could give would be greatly appriciated

thank you

Dr. Bermant responds:

For our patients we have been finding an increasing reluctance for many insurance companies to pay for services we strongly believe are part of basic medical needs. Many operations paid for by HMO have had their prices reduced so far that I many are no longer willing to do them. Many doctors are refusing to be paid only as low wage technicians and be forced to take all the risks. Some doctors are trying to survive the system with high volume care - a system where quality one on one patient doctor time has severely suffered. The system is being destroyed. A patient and doctor rebellion is brewing to rid the system of the many new bureaucrats that do not provide care but ration it.

Some doctors recommend that patients who have questions about what their health insurance should cover contact their lawyers to evaluate their rights. In some cases insurance companies have been known to be more responsive to such letters. Unfortunately this is another drain on dollars that could have gone towards medical care. The better way would be to restore the doctor as the evaluator. The doctor should be held to the highest standards for their recommendations. Insurance companies not responding to these recommendations should be held responsible for the failure of the delivery of care. Unfortunately the old system is dying and bureaucrats with much less training and experience who have not examined the patient are making the decisions. For my own patients, many of these decisions by many insurance companies do not seem right and involve more and more work by my staff to get authorizations.

Some insurance companies offer lower cost plans that do have lesser coverage. Less care options are part of the package costing less. In such cases some conditions will not be covered as part of the agreement the patient has made for the lower cost plan. It is sort of you get what you pay for. For my patients with this problem, we make reasonable surgical fees available to the patient outside of the insurance plan.

I cannot comment on your own case, I have not examined nor evaluated you. You have a good question for your plastic surgeon.

I hope this information proves of some use. If my office can be of further assistance, please let us know. We can be reached at: (804) 748-7737. My staff and I try to ensure the comfort of our out of town guests during their consultations and procedures.

Michael Bermant, MD

Subj: Tummy Tuck Abdominoplasty and Hysterectomy

I am requesting some information on tummy tuck and whether or not this can safely be done at the same time as other surgery for hysterectomy? What if any are the added risks/benefits of doing this surgery. If an abdominal surgery is already needed, can the tummy tuck be done in conjunction with it safely? How does the additional surgery time affect the cost and also recovery time.

I have attempted to look through the program to find this information but have not located it yet. Please sent a reply soon as I have to be making some decisions about the prospective surgery in the very near future. Thanking you in advance.

Dr. Bermant responds:

This should not be construed as medical advice. I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

There are many different types of abdominoplasty, from a mini - tuck to major front - back trunk surgery. Less extensive tummy tucks are usually less risk than more major sculpting. Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery) can be done in certain cases during the same operation as a hysterectomy. It depends on the patient's problems and condition. Any additional surgery has some risks but also benefits. It is this risk benefit ratio that needs to be explored by you and your surgeons.

Without an examination and evaluation, I cannot comment on your specific case. Your questions are much better handled by a doctor during a consultation. It takes me usually more than an hour to go over such information with my patients face to face. That education process is part of the price of the operation.

I cannot sit and write such extensive information as you requested without a consultation. When I have time to build that part of the web page, it will be there for all to see on my site. If you want to explore such issues, may I recommend asking your OBGYN or general surgeon who he/she works with for such surgery and if your problems that create the need for hysterectomy would permit extending the operation. Then see a plastic surgeon to continue the education process.

I hope this information proves of some use. If my office can be of further assistance, please let us know. We can be reached at: (804) 748-7737. My staff and I try to ensure the comfort of our out of town guests during their consultations and procedures.

Michael Bermant, MD

Subj: Re: More than cosmetic surgery alone...

Dr. Bermant,

I am a 32 year old woman, married with 4 boys. Their ages 11, 10, 5 and 3. My husband and I agree that we are happy and satisfied with our 4 children and want to take some measure of permanent birth control.

Briefly, I had 2 cesarean sections with the first two babies. The first was due to distress to the infant and me during labor (and cesareans were popular and I had several rotating HMO doctors). I was a new mom. Recovery was long and painful. When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I went ahead and scheduled another c-section (I wasn't about to go through all that labor again and then have my stomach cut open anyway). So the second c-section was much easier to handle. Unfortunately, the surgeries left me with a scar and a lovely roll of flab hanging over it. A story I'm sure you've heard many times before. Since we were not done with our family, I had 2 VBAC's (Vaginal Births After Cesarean) which completed our family. Those deliveries were uncomplicated and even enjoyable (4 & 6 hour labors with my own doctor).

This is what I want to accomplish: I do not want a menstrual cycle every month and I don't want to take any kind of hormone. I would like to remove my uterus, repair my stomach muscles by sewing them back together (when you push in at my belly button, you can almost feel my spine!) and have abdominoplasty done so that I will look and feel better as the young mother that I am. First, is this possible to do in one hospital visit? Second, how much of this can I expect to be covered? My insurance is Aetna and this is what they say about Sterilization Coverage: Health Expense Coverage: Benefits are payable for charges made in connection with any procedure performed for sterilization of a person, including voluntary sterilization, on the same basis as for a disease. They do not mention anything about plastic surgery although I have 11 Plastic/Reconstructive Surgeons listed in my Preferred Provider directory for my area of Union County, New Jersey.

Since moving from California to New Jersey in September, I have not yet established any patient / doctor relationships and I don't know enough people to get some kind of personal referral. My feeling is that I will have to find an OBGYN-Plastic Surgeon team if I want to successfully accomplish my goals.

Is there any valuable input you can offer to perhaps steer me in the right direction?

Thank you for your time,

C

Dr. Bermant responds:

This should not be construed as medical advice. I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

Working with a local gynecologist has its advantages. Plastic surgeons frequently work with other specialists to offer care. Some cases are covered by insurance policies, others are not. I have done Abdominoplasty both ways depending on the problem and the insurance company. Usually the patient is evaluated by both the gynecologist and the plastic surgeon. A letter is then written to the insurance company and either approved or denied or ????? The patient then chooses how to proceed.

Finding a doctor you can trust is a personal matter. That is why I put up my extensive website. I have tried to demonstrate why so many have chosen to have me as their doctor. There are other ways, local medical societies, other patients......

I hope this information proves of some use. If my office can be of further assistance, please let us know. We can be reached at: (804) 748-7737. My staff and I try to ensure the comfort of our out of town guests during their consultations and procedures.

Michael Bermant, MD

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