How to Tell if You Need Liposuction For Health Reasons

Monday, July 24, 2017


Liposuction has become a popular method to remove unwanted fat from the body, resulting in a more desirable figure. While it’s not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise, liposuction is effective at helping those who have stubborn fat they’re struggling to ditch. As it’s deemed an aesthetic procedure, liposuction is not usually considered medically necessary and therefore, won’t be covered by private health insurance. However, there are a couple of exceptions where a person’s health may be dependent on having the procedure. If you’re wondering whether you qualify for liposuction due to health concerns, here are a few common scenarios that may be relevant to you: 

Breast Reduction 
Excessively large breasts can cause not only psychological problems, but can also cause chronic pain and discomfort. A woman with overly large breasts will naturally adjust their posture to help compensate for the additional weight and disguise the size of her breasts. This can lead to persisting pain in her back, neck and shoulders requiring regular treatment with health practitioners such as a physio, chiropractor or osteopath. Large breasts can also cause recurrent candida yeast infections in areas where the skin rubs such as underneath and in between the breasts. This is not only cosmetically undesirable, it can also cause an itchy, red rash that can potentially spread to other areas of the body. A safe liposuction procedure can be effective at reducing the female breast size by up to 50 percent with minimal scaring, making it a great alternative to traditional breast reduction surgery. 

Gynaecomastia 
It’s not just women who suffer from excessive breast tissue. The number of men suffering from gynaecomastia, commonly known as ‘man boobs’, is on the rise. The condition is believed to be caused by an imbalance in the hormone levels of oestrogen and testosterone, affecting one or both breasts. In some cases, gynaecomastia will resolve on its own, but in others medication or surgery will be required. Men with enlarged breasts can suffer from long-term psychological stress, especially when these hormonal changes occur in childhood or during puberty. On top of the embarrassment, gynecomastia can cause pain and tenderness in the breast tissue. If it doesn’t improve on its own, liposuction is one effective method to eliminate the additional fat without removing the breast gland tissue. 

Lymphoedema 
Lymphoedema is a chronic condition that can be treated through liposuction. It’s characterised by fluid collecting in the arms or legs triggering swelling, otherwise known as oedema. Lymphoedema is typically caused by damage or the removal of lymph nodes instigating a blockage in the lymphatic system that inhibits the drainage of lymph fluid. As the fluid builds up, the swelling arises. Serious complications can occur including bacterial infection of the person’s skin or lymph vessels. Left un-treated, lymphoedema can also result in a rare form of soft tissue cancer known as Lymphangiosarcoma. Liposuction can effectively reduce the swelling in a patient’s arms and legs. It’s now considered a necessary component of the management of lymphoedema in conjunction with rehab and compression therapy. 

Will my Liposuction Surgery be Covered by Private Health Insurance? 
Whether your private health insurer will cover your liposuction surgery will depend on your policy guidelines and your health complaint. If you’re looking to undergo liposuction due to aesthetic reasons, more than likely, your costs will not be covered. In cases where liposuction is warranted due to health conditions such as those above, insurance may be granted. Insurers would likely require ample evidence that the complaint is posing a serious challenge to the patient’s health now and in the future. They’ll often request medical documentation or lab testing to help verify the surgery is medically necessary. If you’re suffering from one of the health complaints above where liposuction may be effective at alleviating physical and psychological stress, it’s worth speaking with a qualified surgeon and your insurance provider prior. 

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