Combination procedures are nothing new. Breast augmentation with a tummy tuck is a mommy makeover. Facelift with upper eyelid lift for facial rejuvenation. But combining procedures between completely different specialties is less common. In this case, we’re referring to a hysterectomy and tummy tuck. This is a potential combination procedure.
Combining a hysterectomy and tummy tuck
As a woman gets older, she may develop a fibroid which is a benign muscular tumor of the womb, aka the uterus. This can result in a bloated abdomen, pain or irregular bleeding not necessarily associated with the menses. The treatment in many cases is a hysterectomy, or the removal of the uterus. As an aside, the ovaries can be left in place to avoid premature menopause.
So it’s not unreasonable to consider returning a woman’s abdomen to its pre-pregnancy shape with a tummy tuck at the same time as a hysterectomy. There are various ways to perform a hysterectomy these days. If performed through a lower abdominal incision, the hysterectomy can be done through the same incision as a tummy tuck. But there are instances where a hysterectomy is done without a lower abdominal incision. This includes removing the uterus through the vagina. Or laparoscopically through small incisions in the abdomen with the use of long thin instruments and a camera.
Regardless of which method is utilized, the plastic surgeon can perform the tummy tuck after the uterus is removed. Just as the surgeon “marks” the patient before an isolated tummy tuck, it’s also critical to mark the patient prior to the combination procedure.
It’s important that the OR staff, in the process of prepping the patient with betadine at the beginning of the operation, doesn’t remove the proposed tummy tuck markings. If that were to happen, the plastic surgeon would be at a loss as to where to make the incision since the skin shifts from standing preop to laying down during the procedure.
Will insurance cover a hysterectomy and tummy tuck
While your insurance typically covers a hysterectomy, you still may have out of pocket costs if you haven’t met your deductible. But no part of your insurance will cover the tummy tuck. It gets even more complicated than that.
Insurance can cover the hysterectomy costs. These include the surgeon’s fees, the operating room costs and the anesthesia fees. The tummy tuck costs include the surgeon’s fees. But that may be the least expensive part of this operation. Since the operation occurs at a hospital, the patient will also be responsible for the OR and anesthesia fees during the tummy tuck portion of the procedure.
Just because the procedures occur during the same operating room and anesthesia “event,” they’re not all covered by insurance. For example, once the hysterectomy ends and the tummy tuck begins, the clock also begins for the tummy tuck. Insurance won’t cover the time necessary to perform the tummy tuck. Those costs must be paid out of pocket by the patient. More importantly, the OR fees and anesthesia fees are way more expensive than those same fees when the procedure is performed in a doctor’s own office-based operating room.
A hospital is the most expensive place to receive care. We just don’t realize it since insurance often covers a bulk of it. Not so with cosmetic procedures performed at a hospital. And even though you can contact the hospital in an attempt to determine the cost, you will still receive an erroneous bill. Guaranteed!
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