The arrival of a new baby often leaves a woman with stretched skin that cannot retract, and even abdominal muscles have separated in the middle (called ‘divarication’), a sagging or bulging stomach that no amount of exercise can counter.
In 2016, it was decided that Medicare would no longer cover the abdominoplasty procedure following pregnancy. This decision had a significant impact on accessibility for the abdominoplasty for many women. These changes have been made without putting it forward for the general public to consider, nor were there any initiatives to consult medical bodies or medical professionals to give their opinion on this decision.
Currently, abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, can only be claimed if a patient is undergoing a surgery for significant weight loss. However, this procedure is often critical for many mothers who want to correct significant functional issues that can occur post-pregnancy, such as chronic lower back pain and urinary incontinence in postpartum women. Reconstructive abdominoplasty after pregnancy restores the abdominal muscles and skin once it has been stretched. These findings have been confirmed by the study that was published in 2018 in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal titled ‘Abdominoplasty improves low back pain and urinary incontinence’. To read this research paper, visit this link.
How can a tummy tuck help pregnancy-related symptoms?
Tightening the abdominal muscles surgically in a tummy tuck raises the intra abdominal pressure and improves the biomechanics of the abdominal and spinal muscles.
The efficiency of the the thoracolumbar fascia (TLF), the spinal and abdominal muscles is improved which, in turn, stabilises the spine.
Increased efficiency of the Transversus Abdominis muscle an improves stability of the sacroiliac joint and alleviates lower back pain.
MRI shows an increase in the disc space and improvement of the bulging disc following tummy tuck.
You can help by signing this petition before 23rd September
Recently, a new petition has re-emerged: this submission to the House of Representatives requests them to reinstate the item number for Medicare to allow women that need corrective abdominoplasty surgery to be able to claim it as the following procedure can address their chronic pain concerns and urinary health issues. The last day to sign the petition is 23rd September 2020. Visit this link if you want to sign the petition.
- Toronto IR. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. April 1990
- Oneal. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. January 2011
- Carruthers KH. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. September 2014