What complications can I face with a panniculectomy?

I'm 42 and I never had surgery before. I went to see a doctor and he recommended a panniculectomy to alleviate the rashes and the back pain caused by the excess skin on my lower abdomen. What complications are most likely to occur? Can the doctor prevent them? It's still a major surgery so I am a bit worried.


F, 44, Nevada

Tags:woman age 35-44 lower abdomen excess skin complications

My doctor explained to me that if I followed his instructions, I could avoid the risks and concerns that are usually associated with body contouring. I didn't experience any complications after my panniculectomy surgery. Like most surgeries, it was uncomfortable for the first week, but the symptoms decreased each day. I stayed overnight at the hospital for two nights after my surgery, and this was very helpful. It is essential to get up and move around after the surgery and having the help of professionals in the hospital was the best way for me to do this without getting hurt. It's vital that you wear the compression garment during recovery to support your abdomen and back.

Before the surgery, I experienced significant lower back pain, which was caused by the weight of heavy skin and fat that hung from my lower abdomen. After I recovered from the panniculectomy, I completed physical therapy to help me manage this pain through stretching and moving my muscles. I'm glad that I had the surgery and I've been able to keep a stable weight ever since!

Hi, found your post while showing a friend who is also going to get panniculectomy surgery. I had a massive weight loss and had the surgery myself. I think I was really afraid that it wouldn’t be as flat as I wanted or that my stomach would still have some hang or scarring. I really just wanted the flattest stomach and had a tummy tuck previously that didn’t remove all of the excess skin and fat that hung over my abdomen. After a couple of weeks, there was no pain, and my stomach was absolutely flatter. I rubbed coconut shea butter on my skin for months after that, and it really improved the look of stretch marks. It’s been three years since my panniculectomy procedure and my stomach is absolutely perfect. I love looking it. I remember the feeling of wearing jeans and t-shirts, just that feeling of comfort really made it worth it for more.

Most complications would be from some type of malpractice that I have read. Infection, bleeding, scarring, and possible revision surgeries when the doctor doesn’t remove all of the fat and skin. My best advice would be to get a doctor who has great reviews, comes recommended, and has a tone of photos to show the proof of his work. My doc had a gallery of photos and lots of testimonials, but he was also just really in tune with what I needed. We went over every detail, he explained exactly how the fat would be removed, and everything turned out 100% the way I wanted. There’s nothing else I can think to tell someone but don’t wait--do it if you want to feel comfortable in your body again!

It's important that you're considering the risks of getting this plastic surgery. With something as major as this, there's always a risk for complications. It is most common to develop an infection post operation. Other more serious complications can include bleeding as well as a phenomenon called seroma, which is essentially fluid collection. I hope I'm not scaring you by sharing these potential complications of the surgery, but I believe that an informed patient is far more likely to become a happy patient. The most concerning consequence of this surgery would definitely be the blood clots as well as the scarring in the lower abdomen region, which can be excessive in severe cases. Of course you want to work closely with your plastic surgeon and have an open line of communication so that if anything does begin to concern you, you can notify him or her immediately. Do not keep any concerns to yourself with something this major!

I had panniculectomy surgery to remove the excess skin from my lower abdomen. My doctor explained to me that complications are rare and can be alleviated by following all of the postoperative instructions. The common risks associated with this and most other surgeries include infection, blood clots, scarring and the build-up of excess fluid. It's really important to follow all of the instructions and not to participate in an activity before you are released by your doctor to return to work or specific types of exercise.

I talked to my doctor about other possible alternative procedures, but I really didn't have any other option. I understand it's a major surgery but the outcome that I needed required that I have the surgery done. As a woman, I desired to have that excess hanging skin removed from my lower abdomen. I wanted to be able to undress in front of my husband and feel attractive. I'm really happy with the results I achieved and I'm really glad that I had the surgery done after the major weight loss. I too suffered from a rash and had other complications caused by the skin that hung down from my abdomen. Those problems are gone and it was worth the process.

I had panniculectomy surgery done after losing 133 pounds (gastric bypass). My doctor explained to me that complications from the surgery are rare and that following his postsurgical and aftercare instructions would greatly reduce those risks. My surgery went smoothly, and although I can't say the panniculectomy recovery was fun, it was doable. I didn't have any complications. Ask your doctor about staying at the hospital for a few days after the surgery. Most people stay at the hospital for a few days after panniculectomy, which was very helpful to me. I also followed my doctor's instructions about preparing for the surgery. My doctor gave me some exercises to do before the surgery, which strengthened my abdominal muscles and improved my circulation. He also encouraged me to eat correctly because that would also help my body to heal more quickly.

After having lost so much weight, I was not in perfect health, but I had come so far. Now that it had the panniculectomy surgery I've been able to exercise and experience greater freedom of movement. Your back pain should be significantly reduced when you remove that heavy fat from your lower abdomen, and you should be able to do some physical therapy to restore your movement and to help your back to heal after the surgery. Wearing your compression garment will be especially important because it will help to support your lower back and your abdomen as you improve. The possible complications associated with the surgery could include infection, scarring and blood clots. Following all of your doctor's instructions on moving after the surgery will improve your circulation, which is very important. I wish you the best of luck and successful operation.

When my physician recommended that I have a panniculectomy, I was immediately concerned about the possible complications. I've never undergone a surgical procedure and wanted to know what I could possibly expect. My surgeon was really cool and answered every question I had. Excessive scarring, infection, bleeding, and fluid collection were some of the complications I could have experienced. Obviously you will have some bruising and swelling during recovery but I would not consider this a complication.

Some patients also need to undergo revision surgery. I was lucky enough to have not to have suffered from any complications. I advise everyone who undergoes a major surgery to use a board-certified plastic surgeon and get reviews. Having a qualified surgeon will reduce your chances of dealing with surgical complications.