Is the panniculectomy incision below the belt line?

I'd want to know if the scar from a panniculectomy could be hidden underneath most underwear or not. It's a pretty big scar and I have doubts it can really disappear by just wearing a bikini bottom. Can I tell the doctor I want it to be below the belt line, or it isn't my call at all?

Maudie

F, 58, California

Tags:woman age 35-44 scar incision

Four years ago, I underwent bariatric surgery. I lost a lot of weight and saw an improvement in my health. Unfortunately, I was left with a lot of excess skin on my lower abdomen. Call me superficial, but one of the concerns I had about getting a panniculectomy was the scarring. My doctor told me that that I would scar. The scar's length and shape would be determined by how much excess skin got removed. My incision runs horizontally from hip to hip. I also have a vertical scar that runs from my sternum to my pelvis. I had my surgery a few months ago, and the scar is lighter than it was after the procedure. Luckily, I am able to hide the scar because it is below the belt line in the pubic region.

I had panniculectomy surgery after losing nearly 80 pounds, and my scar runs between my hip bones and is covered with most underwear, including higher bikini bottoms. Discuss your bikini underwear goals with your plastic surgeon. Having realistic surgical goals is important. There are some plastic surgery options that you can discuss, such as liposuction or a tummy tuck that could also improve your belly button and tighten your abdominal muscles. I'm happy with my results. I had a lot of belly fat and excess skin that was affecting my self-esteem and giving me rashes and back pain. Since the surgery, I can exercise a lot more easily, which has helped me maintain a stable weight.

There is an incision, but it’s small and it goes away pretty quickly with cocoa shea butter. I think the worst part about the panniculectomy procedure is probably the after care and pain for the first couple of weeks. It looks and feels worse than it actually is. By the third week, I was able to walk and jog a little bit, and by the next month, I was running fine without the flab over my pelvis.

I had significant weight loss of over 100 lbs prior to the surgical procedure. I had two c-sections prior and was dealing with a lot of excess skin. I thought that they were going to “cut away” the fat, but that’s not how the procedure works. Small incisions are made in the lower abdomen and near the belly button to pull the fat out and pull in the tummy back to the core. I think it’s so painful because your abdomen is literally transformed in a day.

To me, it’s worth it. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without this surgery. It motivated me to work out again and never stop taking care of my body. I was able to go to the gym a month after the surgery and start working on my core. Those things combined really helped me slim down to the size that I wanted. The only thing I wish is that I would have gotten the tummy tuck with it. I think that this helps you start off with a smaller waistline, but I didn’t want to go through any more pain after the panniculectomy surgery. If you have any questions, just feel free to ask me. I’m excited you’re thinking about getting it done!

Depending on your plastic surgeon's ability to incorporate the scar as a part of shaping your stomach, it may be possible for you to undergo an extensive surgery like a panniculectomy and not be left scarred physically in a way that looks off. Most surgeons will tie the end of your scar into the shape of your stomach (and your abs if you have them), so it's possible to find underwear to control the look of the scar using your underwear garments. Regardless of whether or not you plan to cover up your scar, you should be made well aware that surgeries are not easy to undergo, and that they can take months to heal from. With a panniculectomy, it's highly likely that you will have to reserve 18 months to really pay attention to your own recovery. Healing is not something you want to rush, especially if you fear scars.