Learn More About Panniculectomy Surgery
The pannus is the excess skin and tissue from around the lower abdomen, sometimes referred to as the “apron.” A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure which removes the pannus.
A panniculectomy is an alternative to a tummy tuck procedure, which is performed to remove the excess tissue but not tighten the abdominal muscles. Panniculectomy candidates seek a trimmer, flatter appearance but do not have issues with the underlying stomach muscles. However, a panniculectomy can be performed alongside other procedures, including a tummy tuck. Dr. Shienbaum will advise which procedure or procedures will lead to the best results for your unique situation.
The panniculectomy procedure is performed under general anesthesia and typically lasts several hours. During the procedure, Dr. Shienbaum will make a horizontal incision between the two hipbones, the length of which depends on the amount of tissue that will be removed. After the initial incision has been made, the excess skin and fat making up the pannus will be removed. The remaining tissue will then be pulled tight, and in some cases the belly button will need to be removed and repositioned for a natural appearance. If you are familiar with the tummy tuck procedure, you can think of a panniculectomy as similar to a tummy tuck minus the steps which tighten the abdominal muscles.
Complete recovery from a panniculectomy takes several weeks. During recovery, most patients experience swelling, which can be minimized somewhat using compression garments or elastic bandages. Small drainage tubes may be used to remove any excess blood or fluid. Dr. Shienbaum may prescribe painkillers to make the recovery process more comfortable.
Panniculectomy surgery is a good option for patients with excess fat and skin on the abdomen, especially if the tissue is hanging. The procedure can address both cosmetic and medical concerns. The best candidates share the following characteristics: