What can I expect from panniculectomy recovery?

Tags: woman age 35-44 belly excess fat excess skin recovery

Did you have moments when you almost regretted having the panniculectomy surgery? I had a septoplasty when I was younger, and I swore I wouldn't do any surgery ever again. Now I'm "forced" to go though it again with this panniculectomy. I don't feel comfortable having this much belly fat and skin hanging over my genitals. I would love to speak to other people who have undergone this procedure. Was it tough to get back on your feet again? If you have any tips for me, please let me know. Thank you!


F, 40, New York

I had my panniculectomy surgery a few years ago, and I don’t remember the recovery being that bad at all. Before that I never had any plastic surgery, so I’m not sure what I would compare the recovery to. I have to say there was some pain at first, but it went away completely by the second week. My pannus fat was really bothering me for years, so I don’t think that the pain really affected me. I wanted to get it done over a tummy tuck because I had a thicker apron fat that caused scarring rashes along my pelvic region.

I would say the best part about this procedure was my doctor’s care... because I asked as many questions as I could beforehand, and he just has a really great bedside manner and cared enough to show me previous procedures and talk through how the fat and excess skin was handled. So many women I know have talked about getting a tummy tuck, but panni is definitely the way to improve the look of your tummy and get back to a flatter stomach. I work out and take care of myself now, but I would never have been motivated enough to do so before.

I was obese for many years, so I was grateful that I was able to lose weight. Unfortunately, the excess skin that hung over my lower abdomen contributed to some of my health issues, like back pain. I knew going into the procedure that the panniculectomy recovery period would be slightly uncomfortable, and it was. I spent the first couple of days after the procedure in the hospital. The bruising and swelling in the first couple of days were uncomfortable. However, you receive medication to help manage it. The pain does decrease in a couple of days, but I was swollen for about six weeks.

My stitches stayed in for a little over a week. They were taken out at my follow up appointment. The deep sutures stayed in for around three weeks. I avoided all strenuous activity for about three weeks. My scars looked really bad but eventually faded. It took a few months for me to see the full results of the surgery.

I totally feel your pain about being scarred by past surgery because the same thing happened to me when I chose to get a breast lift. I was horrified by the results and so angry that I swore I would never get a procedure again. You have to realize that one bad plastic surgeon's mistake shouldn't make you discredit all the other doctors out there. I would give this surgery a shot, especially since it sounds like something that is going to make you feel more confident. Dealing with sagging skin is a normal part of aging, and as common as it is, thanks to modern technology, we no longer have to suffer the consequences it can have on our self esteem. No one can "force" you to go through a procedure you don't want, but I think in your case it's more that you're fearful of having a bad experience.