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From 1 July 2022, a new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item will be created for radical abdominoplasty with repair of rectus diastasis (separation of the large abdominal muscles) where the patient has an abdominal wall defect because of pregnancy.

In this context, we are referring to abdominoplasty surgery that involves sewing back together abdominal muscles that had been separated during pregnancy. Learn more in the Medicare Factsheet.

In 2016 the procedure was removed from the MBS due to concerns it was being misused for cosmetic purposes, rather than medically necessary reasons. This meant thousands of women suffering from chronic back pain and sometimes urinary incontinence were unable to access the surgery due to the high costs. Without a Medicare item number, private health insurers cannot cover the expenses, which can be more than $15,000. As of 1 July 2022, these women may be able to find relief through surgery.

Dr Dan Kennedy, President of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), advised women with the condition to discuss non-surgical options before considering surgery as doctors will need to demonstrate the procedure is medically necessary and that all other treatment options have been tried.

Find out more about the medical benefits of abdominoplasty.

When considering any procedure, it’s important to be as best informed as possible, to manage your expectations and understand any risk involved. If you are interested in discussing your personal circumstances further, get in touch with us or book a consultation with Dr Mark Lee.