It can be frustrating after losing a large amount of weight only to realize now you have a lot undesirable and unflattering extra skin. It is especially common for people who have lost a significant amount of weight due to bariatric surgery, as well as women who held on to their extra weight following pregnancy to have a lot of excess skin hanging down over the pubic region. Beyond being cosmetically displeasing, the excess skin on the stomach, also called pannus, can retain moisture and cause a rash due to skin rubbing against itself which can be very uncomfortable for many. However, with a panniculectomy, it is possible to remove all that excess skin and have the flat tummy you have been longing for.
To be considered for panniculectomy, you should be at a stable weight for at least one year. People who have had gastric bypass or adjustable gastric banding surgery should also wait one year after surgery so that they are at a stable weight and any health problems linked to their obesity such as diabetes and high blood pressure have been corrected.
A panniculectomy may be performed by itself or in tandem with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). While a panniculectomy and a tummy tuck both target the abdomen, they are very different operations. Abdominoplasty removes fat and tightens the abdominal muscle, while a panniculectomy only gets rid of the pannus (extra skin). So for some, it is ideal to have the tummy tuck and a panniculectomy together in order to attain the best result possible.
Your panniculectomy may be performed in a hospital or outpatient surgery center. The duration of the surgery will vary based on how much skin and fat is present and whether or not you are also having a tummy tuck, hernia repair or another abdominal surgery. It typically takes several hours.
To perform the panniculectomy, Dr. Danielpour and Dr. Layke will make two incisions. The first spans from the lower area of your sternum to your pubic bone. They will then make a horizontal incision across the pubic area and remove the extra fat and skin. The remaining skin is pulled together and sutured.
Dr. Danielpour and Dr. Layke will likely insert drains in the incision areas to help reduce swelling and get rid of excess fluid. These drainage tubes can be safely removed when the output of fluid is low which will be closely monitored by the doctors on your follow up appointments with us. They will also use tape to shore up the incision areas. After your surgery, you will be fitted for a medical compression garment for support and comfort.
You may experience discomfort, swelling and some bruising after your surgery. During your pre-op you will be prescribed appropriate pain medications to help make you feel more comfortable during your recovery. You will not be allowed to put pressure on the abdominal area for some time. This means no exercise or heavy lifting for several weeks after surgery.
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