How happy are you with your panniculectomy results?
Would you do it again? I've seen amazing and below average before and after photos, but I guess it's probably more important how the patient feels after having such a major procedure. The psychological impact must be huge. I can't wait to have it done, but I'm also scared I'll be disappointed by the results and require for a new procedure (tummy tuck, most likely).
I had gastric bypass surgery and went from 355 pounds to 215 pounds. Panniculectomy surgery was an essential next step for me because of the massive skin and fat that hung around my lower abdomen (below my belly button especially). I was very self-conscious about my obesity and the way that I looked in my clothing. I dreamed of being comfortable enough with my body to wear a bathing suit or to be seen naked. The panniculectomy surgery removed the skin that hung around my waist, and it significantly improved my appearance and self-confidence. I may choose to have an arm lift and tummy tuck at a later time to upgrade my appearance even more.
A plastic surgeon will examine you and give you a surgical plan that will help you achieve the mobility and look that you desire. The panniculectomy surgery was an excellent choice for me, and if you are experiencing a large amount of hanging abdominal skin, I recommend you speak to a surgeon.
My panniculectomy procedure was in 2014. Looking back, it was a hard journey, but now my body really looks and feels the way I have always wanted. It was worth the pain and tears to get there. I’m not sure if it’s that way for everyone, especially if you have the right plastic surgeon. So choose who performs the surgery wisely. I went to a doctor I found through a friend who had a tummy tuck through him, which is what I wanted to get at first. However, he showed me pictures from before and after the procedure for panniculectomy and it was just the better option. With the panniculectomy surgery, I really needed to get rid of fat and skin that was drooping down my abdomen. It had always bothered me after I had my kids, so I was really ready to be rid of it.
My doctor did an okay job. I think I had more pain than most, and without the help of my friend, I probably wouldn’t have known what to do with some of the stretch marks and scarring. My tummy looks great now but the first month after the surgery was brutal. It didn’t help that I still saw fat jiggling and didn’t think that the surgery was performed correctly. When the swelling went down and I could finally see my tummy, it was much flatter and toned. I didn’t have excess skin hanging down (as much). My doctor said that he could do a tummy tuck in addition to panni, but I didn’t want any more surgeries. I worked it off through the gym and exercise, and finally got the body I wanted. TLDR; It works, and it’s a great surgical procedure, but you will have to work to maintain your tummy and get the results you want.
In your case, it sounds like you're already being affected by the psychological elements of what this extensive surgery entails, which is totally understandable given that it's a pretty major surgery. Of course with every surgery, there will be patients who have completely different experiences. While it's easy to tell someone to be positive and hopeful, I think it's more important to make you aware of the consequences of a panniculectomy gone wrong. You can suffer infections, bleeding, fluid formation (also called sermona), and most concerning of all, blood clots. I think these side effects should be more concerning than whether or not you will require a second surgery (tummy tuck). While it's true that many people do undergo a tummy tuck after undergoing a panniculectomy, this does not mean that this will be the safest option in your case. If you're considering both surgeries, talk to your doctor first.
I had a weight loss of over 200 pounds. Needless to say, I had a lot of loose and excess skin. I did a lot of research about the procedure and scheduled several consultations. I felt comfortable going into my surgery. The recovery time does take a few weeks. The first couple of days are really painful. However, the majority of the pain goes away after four days. My surgery was three months ago and I love the results. I am able to try-on clothing that I always wanted to wear but couldn't. I was thrilled that I no longer have to wear overly baggy clothes to accommodate my skin.