A panniculectomy is an alternative to a tummy tuck. The procedure entails removing the excess fat and stretched skin that make up the panniculus. The main difference between the two procedures is that a panniculectomy does not include tightening the abdominal muscles.
What is a
The Best Candidates for
This extreme weight loss can be a result of a vigilant regimen of diet and exercise, or it may occur by means of gastric bypass surgery. Additionally, some women who have experienced one or more pregnancies may develop a panniculus. Those women may be candidates for a panniculectomy, but are more often better suited for abominoplasty.
A severely large panniculus is also sometimes called an apron of tissue. This apron can cause several problems for a person, such as back pain, rashes, and even infections and ulcers in the skin folds. It can also interfere with personal hygiene, mobility, and how clothing fits, not to mention it may be difficult to find clothing large enough to accommodate the panniculus.
A panniculus of this size can also have a detrimental effect on a person’s emotional well-being. They may feel embarrassed by how they look, or by not being able to perform everyday activities.
Because a panniculectomy can correct functional issues and improve health, it may be covered by health insurance. An added benefit will be improvement in appearance.
The best candidates for panniculectomy are in overall good health. They must have maintained a stable weight for more than a year. They must also wait one year after undergoing gastric bypass surgery. A panniculectomy candidate must also have realistic expectations about the potential results of the surgery, and have a post-surgical plan to maintain a healthy regimen of diet and exercise.
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Before & After
Post Op Care
Grade 1: panniculus hangs at the level of the mons pubis
Grade 2: panniculus covers the full pubic area
Grade 3: panniculus falls to the upper thigh
Grade 4: panniculus reaches to the mid-thigh
Grade 5: panniculus extends to the knees
How is a Panniculectomy Performed?
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, and normally takes between two and five hours to complete, depending on the size of the panniculus, and your particular anatomy. Also, if you choose to have other procedures done simultaneously, this can extend the surgery length.
First, the surgeon will make an incision that extends from one hip to the other. The excess fatty tissue and the stretched skin will be excised, and the remaining tissues and skin will be gently sutured together. Depending on the grade of the panniculus, it may also be necessary to make a vertical incision. Your navel may also have to be relocated so it sits properly in your newly flatted abdomen.
Your surgeon will place drains near the incisions to allow fluid to escape the surgery site. This helps to prevent seroma (fluid buildup), and infection. The drains will be removed after about a week.
If you have a hernia, this can be corrected at the time of the panniculectomy. You may also have other procedures performed at the same time, such as liposuction.
Risks and Results
The recovery period is shorter than that of a tummy tuck because the underlying abdominal muscles are not treated.
After your panniculectomy, you’ll have a flatter midsection, without the hanging apron of tissue. If you also had liposuction, your hips and waist may also be reduced, and you may have a more streamlined figure. Aside from appearance, with the panniculus gone, you should feel lighter, and any other effects you were suffering such as back pain or skin sores should also be alleviated.
As with any surgery, you may have some residual scarring. If this a concern for you, we’ll be happy to discuss our scar removal procedures with you.
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