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Tummy Tuck info and pain killers
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Questions in the Cosmetic Surgery forum are answered by Dr. Howard Rosenberg and Dr. Wolfeld. Topics include bariatric surgery reconstruction, breast augmentation, chemical peels, cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, face lift, nose reconstruction, and tummy tucks.

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Tummy Tuck info and pain killers

I have a couple questions concerning possibly having a tummy tuck done.  I have 3 children and we are considering a fourth in the next year and a half.  With each pregnancy, my abdomen has become more stretched and I'm left with an "overhang" or an "apron" of tissue no matter how many toning exercises I do.  My first question, and I'm pretty sure I know what the answer will be, do insurance companies generally pay anything for the procedure and if not, what is the average cost?  My second question is related to pain medication given after surgery.  I have had wisdom teeth removed, a bad tooth extracted and my gallbladder removed in the past.  For each of these I was prescribed either hydrocodone (vicodin) and tylenol 3.  I have terrible reactions to these meds.I feel sick to my stomach, very dizzy, and I usually end up vomiting or having dry heaves (not fun when you have abdominal stitches for a gallbladder extraction.)  They didn't help much with the pain either and I decided the pain was preferable to the side effects of the drugs.  The only exception was that the first med I was put on after having a wisdom tooth extraction was Percocet which didn't make me sick to my stomach at all and really killed the pain but my gums hadn't healed all the way before the 3 day supply they gave me ran out and they wouldn't give me more percocet but instead switched me to vicodin.  If I do decide to have surgery, should I request Percocet or is there another drug that generally doesn't have the side effects that Vicodin/hydrocodone/tylenol 3 have on me?  The surgeon that did my wisdom teeth was adament about not refilling percocet so I wondered if there's a reason for this and if I do have surgery if that would be refused and if so, what else to request?  I can't imagine being so horribly sick to my stomach with sutures after a tummy tuck and then not being able to have effective pain relief!  Just the thought of that makes me less likely to pursue it than the possible cost!
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First, do not undergo a tummy tuck until your family is complete.  Do not expect your insurance carrier to cover this cosmetic procedure.  Many surgeons, including myself, gladly prescribe pain medical that the patient indicates works for them after surgery.  The only time I will limit refills, is if it appears that the patient is abusing the amount of medication that is expected to relieve discomfort.
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Yes, I definitely would be putting it off until we're sure we're done having children.  I'm aware that it would possibly undo the results of the procedure if I were to have more afterwards.  I'm just the type that plans ahead (maybe too far ahead!), especially when such a large amount of money is involved.  I'm glad to hear that generally surgeons prescribe medication that's requested, that's a huge relief.  I was worried because it seems that every time I've had to have a procedure requiring stronger prescription pain relief each medical professional has went to Vicodin or tylenol 3 which my understanding is has similar pain medication just in a less potent form and also the dentist refusing to represcribe it made me wonder if there was something different about it that would make it less likely to be prescribed in the future.  I'm not sure why Percocet affected me differently and didn't make me sick, but I will definitely speak up and request it over Vicodin if I choose to have a tummy tuck or the need arises in the future.  Thank you for the information.
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