Will I need an abdominoplasty after a panniculectomy?

I've seen a lot of patients saying they had a tummy tuck after panniculectomy surgery, and I'm wondering if I can do something to avoid this. Does it depend on how good the plastic surgeon is? Can he combine an abominoplasty with a panniculectomy so I kill two birds with one stone?


F, 42, New York

Tags:woman age 35-44 multiple procedures

I had a panniculectomy surgery and a combined tummy tuck, but both operations are not always needed or recommended. My surgeon recommended both because I needed my muscles tightened and the fat and loose skin that covered my pubic area removed. The combined surgeries lengthened my recovery time, which is something that you need to discuss with your doctor.

I'm happy with my results, and I've had zero side effects. Having the excess skin and fat removed liberated me, and having the muscles tightened strengthened my core. I continue to workout at a gym and ride a bike, as well as walk and lift weights. I'm so happy with the ability to move and enjoy life freely. Losing the weight was just the first step in my liberation process. My plastic surgeon has helped me to achieve a new, healthy appearance and freed me from obesity.

I had an abdominoplasty surgery completed about a year after my panniculectomy surgery. During that year, I continue to my weight loss journey, which allowed my surgeon to provide me with outstanding abdominoplasty results. I was so happy with my massive weight loss, and my doctor warned me that I could possibly have a large amount of sagging skin. I wanted to achieve full movement with the panniculectomy surgery, and I did achieve that goal. I was able to wash better, alleviate a rash and I improved my appearance with that surgery, but my abdominal area was still saggy and soft.

See a plastic surgeon for recommendations on the best surgical procedure for you. My surgeon gave me an overall projected plan for removing excess skin, and I needed to have both surgeries done to accomplish the best results. The second operation was not covered by my insurance because this operation focused on tightening my muscles and removing excess fat through liposuction, which was considered a cosmetic procedure by my insurance company. Not everyone has this cosmetic procedure done after their panniculectomy because it's usually a surgical choice versus a necessity. I wish you the best of luck and positive surgical results.

I was looking into this because I was thinking about getting a tummy tuck now that my apron is gone. From my research, most people do get a panni and tummy tuck because they slim down different areas of the belly. The panni is for removing excess skin and fat, while the tummy tuck makes your upper stomach flatter. I still have a “round” belly but it’s not really noticeable to anyone but me. I’ve exercised and just found that a tummy tuck would get me there faster, and then I can just maintain it.

My panni was a few years ago. My plastic surgeon did a great job. I have no complaints about it and worked really hard to keep my body in shape after the procedure. The part that really sucked was the pain for the first few weeks. You can’t really do a whole lot the first couple of weeks. You just want to heal and watch your tummy transform. After three months, I was in the gym every day, felt absolute great to wear tight clothes to the gym and just not have that excess fat when I run.

Getting the tummy tuck would just slim me down even more to the size that I want and give me a very slender waistline. That’s what I’ve always wanted. It would only be my second procedure, so it’s just the next step in my body transformation. I can’t wait for summer this year.

In your case, it sounds like you'd prefer to pass on the tummy tuck, which is totally understandable given that it's an extra procedure and it doesn't qualify to be covered by insurance because of its cosmetic nature. That being said, if you have an open discussion with your doctor about your needs from this surgery, and make tightened skin a priority, he should be able to advise you to not undergo a tummy tuck. With a panniculectomy being a significant enough procedure on its own, you want to allow yourself a solid amount of time so you can properly recover and heal from any scarring. If your doctor says it's possible to combine the two surgeries, is this still something you would consider? Or would you prefer to see what the results of your panniculectomy look like prior to considering a second surgery? Tummy tucks are intended for appearances.

I honestly didn't know the difference between an abdominoplasty and panniculectomy. I ended up having both procedures because I needed to correct two related issues. My panniculectomy removed the excess skin that was hanging from my lower abdomen. It wasn't a cosmetic procedure because it was necessary to improve my quality of life. While the excess skin was removed, the procedure didn't tighten any of my loose muscles. I had the procedures performed at the same time. I could have opted to have them done later, but I didn't want to undergo another recovery period. When I had the procedures done, none of the excess skin remained and I was left with a firm abdomen.