Panniculectomy

After a successful weight loss program, it’s very common to have an area of extra skin and fat, sometimes called an apron, hanging down from the lower abdomen. Physicians refer to this area as a “pannus” and in extreme cases, a pannus can extend downward to cover the upper legs or even the knees, causing patients to have trouble standing, walking upright or just sitting.  The procedure to remove the panus is called a panniculectomy.

A panniculectomy includes the removal of the extra skin and fat with an incision from hip to hip on the lower torso. At Kaufman Plastic Surgery near Sacramento, this post weight loss plastic surgery procedure removes the hanging skin and fat but unlike an abdominoplasty or lower body lift, it does not tighten the abdominal muscles or reshape the belly button area.

If you are unsure that this is the right surgery for you, take a look at our before and after photo gallery and you’ll begin to understand the various torso procedures. Then, when you are ready, request a consultation at our practice. We’ll help you evaluate your after weight loss surgery options and make the best choice.

Candidates for Panniculectomy

Candidates for a panniculectomy have achieved their weight loss goals or have come close and perhaps reached a plateau. Unfortunately, the overhanging skin often gets in the way of exercise and further weight loss and although the skin and fat that has localized on the lower torso bothers most candidates, they prefer to delay or avoid a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).  Further, as with all surgical procedures, the best candidates for a panniculectomy are those who are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in their expectations.

Insurance Coverage

Kaufman Plastic Surgery is completely out of network and therefore, does not work with any insurance programs. For that reason, patients are responsible for their own insurance billing.

If you want to pursue coverage, it’s wise to document the health problems associated with your pannus. Such problems may include rashes, skin breakdown and lower back pain. It’s advisable to take photographs to document the issues you are experiencing. Unfortunately, very few post weight loss surgery patients’ needs can be completely addressed with this midbody procedure alone.

Panniculectomy Surgery and Recovery

Depending on the size of the pannus, the surgery takes between two to four hours to perform and is done so under general anesthesia.

During a panniculectomy, excess skin and fat is removed from the lower abdomen before the remaining skin is brought together and closed; with the incision extending from hip to hip.   Drains may be required for a few days following your surgery, and you’ll be instructed to wear a compression garment for a few weeks.

With regard to recovery, you can expect to feel discomfort for the first few days following surgery, after which you should be able to discontinue prescription pain medication. After one to two weeks you can begin resuming light activities and expect to be fully recovered in about two months.

From a risk/benefit standpoint, this procedure has the lowest risk of all mid-body procedures. Potential risks do exist, however, and include blood clots, fluid collection, as well as problems with anesthesia and wound healing. In most cases, however, surgery and recovery are smooth and patients are pleased with their new, more streamlined torso.

Call (916) 983-9895 to arrange a plastic surgery after weight loss consultation with Dr. David Kaufman. Our office is conveniently located on East Bidwell Street in Folsom, close to the communities of the greater Sacramento area.