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You’ve worked hard to lose weight and to improve the tone of your tummy skin through diet and exercise programs. But when you have reached your desired weight but not your desired shape, it may be time to consider a panniculectomy. Our patients choose this procedure when they are having trouble achieving a smooth toned tummy appearance.

A panniculectomy is a plastic surgery procedure that is designed to remove excess sagging skin on the lower abdomen. Panniculectomy can be performed for women after pregnancy and for men and women after massive weight loss.

Once the excess skin is removed, the lower abdomen and love handle areas can be reshaped and contouring to give you your old smooth stomach skin. The belly button (umbilicus) is not changed during a panniculectomy. The separation of the rectus abdominis muscles (diastasis rectii or separation of the “six-pack muscles”) is not corrected neither during a panniculectomy. A panniculectomy is essentially indicated for patients with a flat tummy with minimal excess of fat that have redundant excess of skin bellow the belly button usually secondary to pregnancies or weight loss.

A panniculectomy can dramatically improve the appearance of a woman and man’s abdomen. A panniculectomy in the candidate patient can:

  • Tighten and remove loose skin of the lower abdomen

  • Requires minimal skin undermining, thus allowing faster recovery

  • It can be performed under local anesthesia in selected candidate patients

  • Can be a perfect finishing touch several months after childbirth

Panniculectomy FAQ:

What is a panniculectomy?

Panniculectomy is a surgical procedure designed to remove the panus, excess skin from the lower abdomen sometimes referred to as an apron. This operation is different from an abdominoplasty because it is intended solely to relieve symptoms related to an overhanging apron of skin. It doesn’t involve undermining of tissue or lightening of rectus muscles (six pack muscles). The procedure involves a scar that is located across the lower abdomen similar to a Tummy Tuck incision.

Who is a good candidate for Panniculectomy?

Panniculectomy candidates must be in good health, have no active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions, and must have realistic expectations of the outcome of the surgery. If you plan to become pregnant or to lose a significant amount of weight, you should discuss these plans with your doctor before surgery. Panniculectomy is not a treatment for obesity or a substitute for proper diet and exercise.

You could be a candidate for Panniculectomy if you have some of these symptoms:

  • Cosmetically unpleasant excess of skin in the lower abdomen bellow the umbilicus

  • Overhanging apron

  • Skin irritation in the lower abdomen apron crease

  • Fungal infections in the lower abdomen apron crease.

What is to expect during a panniculectomy plastic surgery?

You will undergo surgery under anesthesia.  The procedure takes 2 to 4 hours to complete depending on the patient. Dr. Long closes the incisions with dissolving stitches and places you in a supportive binder for your comfort during the recovery. Generally, Panniculectomy plastic surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. You will need to have a close friend or family member drive you to and from the surgery center and care for you for the first 24-48 hours after surgery.

Where is the panniculectomy plastic surgery Tummy Tuck incision made?

The panniculectomy plastic surgery involves an incision in the lower abdomen in the area below the “bikini line”. During a panniculectomy, Dr. Long may perform liposuction of the flanks through very small skin incisions with a small delicate liposuction cannula to improve the shape of the waist. Excess skin is removed, resulting in a flatter, smoother and trimmer stomach.

What is the recovery after a panniculectomy plastic surgery?

Each patient is unique. Your recovery time will depend upon the total treatment plan. You will have some swelling and bruising, and may experience some discomfort and swelling for the first two weeks. We will prescribe medication to ease your discomfort. Dr. Long uses dissolving stitches, so they do not need to be removed. You will wear an abdominal binder during the first week post surgery until most of the swelling resolves, Then you may be placed on a compression garment that is wore for 6 to 8 weeks to support your tissues as they heal. You will also have drains for several days

When can I return to normal activities after a panniculectomy plastic surgery?

Most of our patients are able to return to work in 2 to 3 weeks. If you were exercising before surgery, you will be in the best condition to recover most rapidly. It will take about 4-6 weeks to return to all normal activities and exercise.

How long will the results from a panniculectomy plastic surgery last?

Unless you gain weight or become pregnant, you should enjoy your taut shapely figure for years to come. Your clothes will fit better and you’ll find increased confidence in your appearance. Dr. Long believes it is important to begin an exercise program to maintain your new look and to increase your health and fitness.

Why not go to an Obstetrician, Gynecologists, Internists, Primary Care Physician Dentists and “cosmetologists” for a panniculectomy?

Practitioners like Obstetricians or Gynecologist and other doctors who are not formally residency-trained and Board Certified to perform panniculectomy plastic surgery have been found to suffer a much higher rate of complications, as it’s a side interest to them, and not a treatment they’re certified to do all day long. One of the most common complaints is minimal improvement, asymmetries, etc.

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