Body contouring surgery following significant weight loss is deemed elective and isn’t covered by most insurance plans, which leaves many gastric bypass patients with a significant amount of extra skin following their post-surgery weight loss. A recent study challenges the notion that post-weight loss body contouring surgeries aren’t essential by proving they significantly increase a patient’s long term weight loss and, therefore, overall health.
The Results of the Study
In the study, researchers looked at the post-surgical weight management of gastric bypass patients who underwent tummy tucks and other body contouring procedures compared to gastric bypass patients who didn’t receive cosmetic surgery. The results convincingly showed that patients who pursued cosmetic procedures were much more successful at not regaining weight during the two years following their weight loss surgery.
It’s Not About Looks
For years, insurance companies have typically covered gastric bypass surgery because obesity causes a multitude of life-threatening health issues. However, insurance providers have been unwilling to pay for tummy tucks following weight loss because they don’t consider body contouring to contribute to a patient’s health. Essentially, they consider such procedures to be elective and cosmetic, motivated by aesthetic goals rather than health considerations.
The researchers behind this new study have made a case that contouring surgery after weight loss does in fact contribute to the patient’s health just as much as the original gastric bypass surgery, and that these cosmetic procedures are about far more than just physical appearance. With time, it’s possible that body contouring surgery will begin to be covered by more insurance companies for patients having gastric bypass surgery.