Removal of Excess Skin after Bariatric Surgery: Will Medicare cover lipectomies after bariatric surgery?
Medicare does not pay for cosmetic surgery as it is excluded from coverage under l862(a)(l0) of the Social Security Act. After bariatric surgery weight loss, some patients may develop skin breakdown under excess skin. If this skin breakdown has not responded to conservative measures and is significant enough to merit surgery, Medicare may cover what would otherwise consider cosmetic; but the medical record documentation would need to clearly support the medical necessity including the progression to surgical treatment. Otherwise, lipectomies to shape or contour the body would be considered cosmetic and not covered by Medicare.