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June 30, 2003

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA:

I am 20 years old, and I have had type 1 diabetes for almost 19 years. When I was 12, I started putting insulin injections in my stomach, and I now have a huge lump across my waist. I have stayed away from this year for over a year now and the lump doesn't seemed to be getting any smaller. It's a disfigurement, very noticeable, and I want to get rid of it ASAP. I talked to my endocrinologist, and she recommended that I talk to a plastic surgeon. The only way my insurance will cover the procedure is if it's medically necessary for me to get this done. Is there any way that this procedure could be medically necessary? If surgery is the only option besides waiting, what else can I do?


I totally agree with your endocrinologist. There is not much you can do in this situation. Most insurance coverages I know about have that clause in them that allows them an “out” if the procedure is perceived to be for cosmetic purposes. However, it is unlikely to go away on its own, so perhaps you could make a case. Do not continue to inject into the area as that will make it worse, even though the injection may not be as easily felt.