Panniculectomy

A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin of the lower abdomen known as the pannus.

Panniculectomy

The Skinny


Average Recovery

5 weeks

Permanence

Temporary

Application

Surgical Procedure

Surgical

Yes

Cost

$4000 - $15000

The Specifics


What is a panniculectomy?

A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure that will have body contouring benefits to the lower abdomen through removal of excess skin and soft tissue in the pubic region, but is primarily a procedure of medical necessity.

The Anatomy of the Belly Fat

Belly Fat Anatomy Illustration

Unlike an abdominoplasty (a.k.a. tummy tuck), a panniculectomy does not address abdominal muscles, and is not considered a cosmetic procedure. Panniculectomy surgery to remove excess skin and excess fat is generally used to alleviate back pain, help with gastrointestinal issues, and improve quality of life. A Panniculectomy can, however, be combined with other plastic surgery procedures like an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), liposuction, or thigh lift.

A panniculectomy can be used following massive weight loss as part of a bariatric surgery program or gastric bypass. A significant amount of weight and overhanging skin can be removed through this surgical technique.

What cosmetic concerns does a panniculectomy procedure treat?

  1. Abdominal Contour: Removal of the pannus (skin and soft tissue of the lower abdomen) creates improved body definition and contours.

Who is the ideal candidate for a panniculectomy procedure?

The ideal candidate for a panniculectomy is in generally good health, at a stable weight, and following a diet and exercise regimen. Panniculectomy is not recommended for those who are significantly overweight or those whose weight is unstable.

What is the average recovery associated with a panniculectomy procedure?

Complete recovery from a panniculectomy may take up to a few months, however, patients typically begin to resume activities after two or three weeks. Most candidates return to work within two weeks. There are restrictions on exercise for up to one month. A compression garment should be worn for the first few weeks.

What are the potential side effects of a panniculectomy procedure?

Possible side effects following a panniculectomy include bruising, numbness, blood clots, pain, nerve damage, swelling, infection, asymmetry, and scarring.

What can someone expect from the results of a panniculectomy procedure?

The results of a panniculectomy are immediately visible and permanent improvements to the lower abdominal area. The results will finalize over six months, and will be affected by significant weight changes, aging, and pregnancy.

What is the average cost of a panniculectomy procedure?


A panniculectomy can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000. The actual cost of a panniculectomy is dependent upon location, board certified plastic surgeon, and length and involvement of the plastic surgery.

Pros

Improved quality of lifeFlatter stomach and weight loss

Cons

ScarringAsymmetry

Invasiveness Score

mildmoderatesevere
1
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10

Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect


A panniculectomy is a plastic surgery procedure utilized to alter the appearance of the stomach area. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a panniculectomy:

The Takeaway


A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and excess fat from the lower abdomen for medical reasons. It is not a cosmetic surgery, however, it may be combined with cosmetic procedures for further body contouring and aesthetic enhancements.

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Source List

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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. GB Forbes Body Fat Content Influences the Body Composition Response to Nutrition and Exercise PubMed.gov; 2000-05-01
  2. Paul Cohen, Bruce M Spiegelman Cell Biology of Fat Storage PubMed.gov; 2016-08-15
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