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.
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
- Outcomes of the surgery as well as expectations
- 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
- 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.
- 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.