After doing the extremely hard work of losing a significant amount of weight, it can feel unfair and even cruel to be left with sagging or drooping pockets of excess skin that prevent you from enjoying your new body. Although excess skin can occur anywhere, a “panniculus” is perhaps most problematic.
Panniculus is a medical term for the apron-like excess skin, tissue, and fat on the lower belly that many patients experience after a dramatic weight loss. After dramatic weight loss, you deserve to be able to feel confident about your new body, but excess skin on the belly can sour an otherwise triumphant weight loss journey.
Side effects of a panniculus include:
- General discomfort
- Ill-fitting clothing
Set yourself free with a panniculectomy
If you are contending with this unpleasant after-effect of dramatic weight loss in the Philadelphia area, Dr. Stark may be able to help by performing a panniculectomy. Join us at the StarkMD Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Center for a thorough personal consultation to discover if panniculectomy may be right for you. Dr. Stark is double board-certified in both surgery and plastic surgery, and always takes great care to create the safest and most effective possible surgical plan for your specific needs.
What is a panniculectomy?
A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure that removes sagging, drooping, or protruding excess skin on the belly. This specialized form of abdominoplasty is not a strictly cosmetic procedure, though it can also produce an overall smoother belly.
How is panniculectomy performed?
Panniculectomy is performed under general anesthesia and lasts about one to three hours. During a panniculectomy, Dr. Stark makes an incision across the lower abdomen from hip to hip and at the navel. Through these incisions, Dr. Stark removes excess skin and tissue. After excision is complete, Dr. Stark stretches and smooths the remaining skin over the abdomen. Finally, he adjusts the placement of the belly button to match your new belly contour and closes the incisions with stitches.
Dr. Stark can also use liposuction to further contour the belly and surrounding areas such as the hips and flanks at this time. However, patients who are primarily concerned with fat removal may be better served by a dedicated liposuction procedure.
Recovering from panniculectomy
Dr. Stark will fully discuss what to expect from your surgery and give you clear aftercare instructions to help ensure the best results. Pain and swelling are normal for the first few days but should recede. Dr. Stark will prescribe pain medication as necessary for this period. Drains may be placed at the incision sites to keep fluid from gathering under the skin. Drains can usually be removed in about a week. The full extent of your flatter tummy will not be totally realized until after you have completely recovered, usually after about three to six months. However, you should be able to return to work and resume most normal activities within about a week.
Is a panniculectomy right for me?
A panniculectomy is not a long-term weight loss solution. This surgery is best for patients who have already realized and maintained a healthy, consistent weight but have developed a panniculus due to significant weight loss. If you have undergone bariatric or gastric bypass surgery, you must wait at least 9-12 months to undergo a panniculectomy to make sure your weight has plateaued.
A panniculectomy does not reshape or tighten abdominal muscles but may be combined with abdominoplasty or a tummy tuck to target these goals as well. If you are suffering from sagging, drooping skin on many areas of the body, a panniculectomy may be performed as part of a more comprehensive post weight loss body contouring surgery.
Your patient experience
Dr. Stark will ensure you feel comfortable the minute you walk into StarkMD Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Center. His friendly staff, comfortable exam rooms and warm bedside manner will immediately put you at ease. We understand any surgery can be emotionally difficult and the ultimate key to success is alignment of your goals with those of your doctor.
During your panniculectomy consultation at StarkMD Plastic & Aesthetic Surgery, you will have the time and comfort to discuss your desired outcome. As with any surgery, health is of the utmost importance and Dr. Stark will ensure you are taking any necessary supplementation and stop any medications that may interfere with surgery. In addition, Dr. Stark’s considerable skill and finesse come through to minimize scarring with every closing suture.
Meet the Doctor
Ran Stark, M.D. is double board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. He completed more than 10 years of additional training and residencies after completing his medical degree to become one of the foremost plastic surgeons in the Philadelphia area. His keen attention to detail, artistic eye, and practiced hands help him give his patients consistently exemplary results – but the difference is also in his manner. Dr. Stark makes your goals his own. He will always do the utmost to help you uncover the greatest version of yourself.