Mikimi’s journey through body contouring after massive weight loss is one of triumph over challenges: From battling HMO insurance approval for plastic surgery, to enduring wound healing issues, to again fighting for HMO insurance coverage for plastic surgery revisions — and in the end, winning! Mikimi got her plastic surgery paid by insurance.
Mikimi had open gastric bypass surgery in 2008 at Poriya Hospital in Tiberius Israel. Following massive weight loss, she underwent bariatric plastic surgery in 2011 and 2012. Today, Mikimi discusses her plastic surgery after weight loss journey with us.
Mikimi Gets Plastic Surgery Paid by Insurance
My Bariatric Life: Mikimi, why did you decide to undergo body contouring plastic surgery after gastric bypass surgery?
Mikimi: I couldn’t stand suffering the constant rashes in the folds under my belly and under my sagging breasts. I also really needed to feel the success of weight loss by seeing the physical difference in my body.
What body contouring procedures did you desire? Which of these were covered by your health insurance?
At first I applied and fought for the tummy tuck. After insurance appeals my HMO approved the panniculectomy [removal of the apron of skin and fat that hangs from the abdominal region only, without muscle tightening].
In spite of issues of gangrene and dehiscence from the panniculectomy, I imagined myself slimmer and dreamed of not having hanging pendulous breasts. So I applied and appealed until I won insurance coverage for plastic surgery breast reduction.
How were you successful in getting plastic surgery paid by insurance following bariatric surgery? Did you have any expenses?
I had to fight and appeal to get the panniculectomy and breast reduction. My breasts were left with dog ears and the HMO absolutely refused to cover the costs even after appeals. So, I worked night shifts to earn the money to pay $1000 for each side, in separate day surgery procedures three months apart to benefit healing, and to be done with local anesthetic.
Please tell me about your recovery and the wound healing issues you experienced.
Shortly after I was home, I felt weird bumps in my incision. I saw my general practitioner and he later spoke with my plastic surgeon. They decided that I would need to travel to see my plastic surgeon in person. I left the next morning — not knowing I would end up being hospitalized for almost seven weeks!
I had debridement [removing dead tissue from wounds] in the operating room. I was expecting that after two days the plastic surgeon would take me back into the operating room, but it was instead decided to treat with a would vac. As I live alone and 3.5-hours away from the hospital by public transportation, it was decided I would stay in patient as long as the HMO would allow. In my case this was almost seven weeks.
Did you get the results that you wanted from bariatric plastic surgery?
I don’t compare my results to anyone else. Neither were my plastics shown to me on a computer for me to see what I might look like. So I don’t know that I had my expectations set going into surgery, but my body is now a better appearance than it was.
How do you feel about yourself today?
I feel slimmer. And I feel that every scar on my body is a badge of honor as I know the pain involved to get to where I am now.
Please tell me about your favorite WOW moment after your transformation.
The next day after the breast reduction surgery while I was still in the hospital, during Doctors Rounds, as the plastic surgeon removed the drains, one of the other plastic surgeons said that I had the “breasts of a 17 year old.”
But for me, I always feel my flatter tummy was my absolute best WOW.
Through all of this Mikimi’s attitude remains phenomenal. And she continues to be an inspiration to the obesity community and to me, actively participating on the ObesityHelp.com forum under the avatar Godzilla.
Read more inspiring Patient Stories on My Bariatric Life of real people who have taken control of their health and their lives by overcoming obesity.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life