A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure for abdominal wall contouring, changing the shape and form of the abdomen by removing excess skin and subcutaneous adipose tissue.
It’s most helpful for people who have recently had weight loss surgery and are left with large amounts of hanging skin on the lower belly.
What’s the Difference Between Panniculectomy and Tummy Tuck?
Panniculectomy and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) are two surgical treatments aimed at removing excess lower belly skin. They may both be performed in cases of extreme weight loss from natural or surgical causes.
The goal of panniculectomy is to primarily remove hanging skin, while a tummy tuck also provides contouring effects to enhance your muscles and waistline. It’s also possible to have both procedures done at the same time.
The goal for both procedures is similar: to remove excess skin from the abdomen. However, it’s important to learn the key differences between the two so that you get the results you want.
Comparing panniculectomy and tummy tuck
Both panniculectomy and tummy tuck target lower belly skin. The goal of the procedures is to get rid of loose, hanging skin that often forms after losing a lot of weight. This may be due to surgeries such as a gastric bypass, natural weight loss, or even pregnancy.
A panniculectomy is an invasive surgical treatment. It’s most helpful for people who have recently had weight loss surgery and are left with large amounts of hanging skin on the lower belly.
This type of surgery may be considered a medical necessity if the remaining skin affects your quality of life. For example, you may develop rashes, infections, and ulcers underneath the area of hanging skin.
During a panniculectomy, your surgeon will make two cuts into the abdominal wall to remove excess skin in the middle. Then the bottom portion of skin is reattached to the top via suturing.
It takes about two to five hours for a surgeon to perform a panniculectomy. The exact timeline depends on the length of incisions made, as well as the amount of excess skin that’s being removed.
A tummy tuck is also intended to remove excess skin. The key difference is that this invasive surgery is usually elected for aesthetic reasons and isn’t medically necessary like a panniculectomy.
With a tummy tuck, your doctor will cut out excess skin while also tightening abdominal muscles. While the surgery itself won’t give you six-pack abs, it will make it easier for you to build abdominal muscles on your own through exercise in the future.
A tummy tuck may take two to four hours to complete. Though the skin cutting may be less extensive than with a panniculectomy, your surgeon will still need to shape the abdominal wall in a tummy tuck.
Both panniculectomy and tummy tuck share similar success rates. The key is to maintain a healthy lifestyle following the procedure so you get the best results.
Who is a good candidate?
You may be a better fit for one procedure over another. Both panniculectomies and tummy tucks are intended for adults and for women who aren’t pregnant, as well as for those who don’t smoke and are at a stable body weight.
It’s important to remember that while both surgeries target excess lower belly skin, these aren’t weight loss procedures.
You may be a candidate for a panniculectomy if you:
- have recently lost a large amount of weight and have loose belly skin that you want to remove
- are experiencing hygiene issues from excess skin hanging below the pubic region
- keep getting ulcers, infections, and other related issues under the hanging skin
- have recently had gastric bypass or bariatric weight loss surgeries
Tummy tuck candidates
A tummy tuck may be a good fit if you:
- are trying to get rid of “belly pooch” from a recent pregnancy
- have trouble getting rid of excess skin around the abdomen despite diet and exercise
- are in overall good health and are at a healthy weight
- have talked to your surgeon and they want to perform this operation after a panniculectomy
All cosmetic surgery procedures will be performed by our well sought-after Plastic surgeon at accredited Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur.