Is there an extended panniculectomy?

I know about extended tummy tucks but I'm not sure there is an extended panniculectomy. Can someone shed some light on this matter, please?


F, 42, New York

Tags:woman age 35-44

I was just reading about this because I had my first panniculectomy procedure a couple of years ago. I was severely overweight and had just had my first child. Exercising was difficult. I had a c-section so there was some scarring as well. Overall, I just hated how I looked and wanted to get the apron removed as soon as possible.

What ended up happening with my doctor was that because there was so much excess skin and fat in my lower abdomen, he couldn’t remove it all the first time. I had to go back for a revision surgery. This was very painful, and for about two months, I was not able to really move a whole lot while my body recovered. I look back on that time and it was probably the worst I’ve felt, but it was so worth it.

My stomach is extremely tight now. I had a tummy tuck last year after my second panniculectomy and I am not back to the old slender waistline that I had in high school. I don’t regret the surgeries, they helped me achieve the body that I wanted and I’ve been able to maintain through diet and exercise. I’m in the best shape of my life. It’s been a long journey, but I’m happy to share my experience and answer any questions you have about it!

I asked my doctor about an extended panniculectomy. A panniculectomy does not tighten muscles to correct the separation of muscles. So, I decided to have my doctor combine a tummy tuck procedure with my panniculectomy. I also had my belly button reconstructed. Doing this would not only get rid of my excess skin, I would be able to get the body contour that I desired. There is a caveat with having this type of extended procedure. I knew that having this type of plastic surgery would increase the chances of experiencing some type of risk or complication. Luckily, I had a plastic surgeon that had years of experience performing tummy tucks and panniculectomies.

I had my panniculectomy done in early 2017 with a tummy tuck to achieve some of the benefits that both offer. The tummy tuck did the extra things that I needed, such as having my loose skin tightened, reconstructing my belly button, and tightening my abdominal muscles. My recovery was longer than that for a standard panniculectomy, that only lifts sagging extra skin and excess fat. Your panniculectomy treatment might be covered by your insurance if it's considered medically necessary, but the tummy tuck is usually considered cosmetic surgery. The best way to learn about how to get the best results for you is to meet with a plastic surgeon for an examination.

Since a panniculectomy is more so intended to help someone who struggles with basic activities like cleaning themselves, it's unlikely that the procedure will have to be extended or performed again when there is one intended purpose. If you aren't happy with the results of your panniculectomy, you can always consider a cosmetic touch up, which would of course be the tummy tuck. Ultimately, the surgical procedures are intended for two different purposes: one helps rid you of a possible disability, whereas the other is intended to change your aesthetics by shaping your appearance. It's also important to note that a tummy tuck flattens your actual tummy, while a panniculectomy doesn't. The only thing the panniculectomy will really do is remove excess skin around the abdominal region, so if you are looking for both a medically necessary procedure and a cosmetic procedure, you may have to combine both, not double one.