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What to Expect: Panniculectomy Surgery

What is Panniculectomy?

  • Panniculectomy surgery is to remove excess skin from the lower abdomen.

Reasons to undergo panniculectomy surgery:

  • Massive weight loss
  • Pregnancy or prior surgeries
  • Recurring rashes or infections under skin
  • Difficulty ambulatory
  • Hygiene difficulties

What makes a good candidate for panniculectomy surgery?

  • You’re physically healthy and you don’t smoke.
  • You’re at a stable weight goal weight.
  • You have realistic expectations.
  • You have recurring rashes or infections under the hanging skin, difficulty with ambulatory or hygiene.

The Consultation

During your panniculectomy consultation, be prepared to discuss:

  • A panniculectomy is not a substitute for weight loss
  • A panniculectomy differs from abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and cannot correct stretch marks, this is not a cosmetic body contouring procedure.
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
  • Previous surgeries
  • Family history
  • Photos
  • Outcomes of the surgery as well as expectations

The Procedure

  • The shape and length of the incision will determine the amount of excess skin to be removed
  • Sutures will be used to close the incision
  • Patients usually stay overnight in the hospital
  • No heavy lifting or strenuous exercise 4-6 weeks postop

The Recovery

  • Following your surgery, gauze dressing or bandages will be applied to your incision.
  • A compression garment may be required to minimize swelling and support the abdomen as it heals.
  • A small thin tube may be placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid.
  • You will be given medications to take orally to reduce swelling and infection.
  • You will be given specific instructions when to follow up with your Plastic Surgeon.

Insurance Coverage

  • Most panniculectomy surgeries are covered by insurances.
  • Medical documentation is required to submit to your insurance company for approval.
  • Out of pocket costs may include the cost of compression garments needed for post-surgery, co-insurances or deductibles.

Tips for Healing

  • Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling decreases and the abdomen improves.
  • Continue to follow your surgeon’s instructions for follow up visits and care.

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