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What is a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)? What is panniculectomy?

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat, skin, and in most cases, can reestablish weakened or separated muscles – creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.

Panniculectomy, which can be performed alone or in combination with a tummy tuck, removes any overhanging “apron” of skin and tissue from below the belly button. This excess skin is most typically a result of significant weight loss (100 pounds or more) through diet and exercise.

The hanging skin of the abdomen, called the pannus or "apron" can cause a variety of problems, including the inability to fit comfortably into clothing, difficulty in daily hygiene, yeast infections or cysts in the folds of skin, and lower back pain. Different from a tummy tuck, which tightens the underlying stomach muscles, a panniculectomy only removes excess skin and fat.

Many people who have achieved significant weight loss can be left with large amounts of heavy, loose folds of skin around the abdomen, which can sag and lose elasticity as a result of being stretched for a long period of time. This excess skin can lead to rashes above the pubic area and along the groin and hips. A panniculectomy can offer relief of these symptoms to enhance your health and appearance.

Am I a candidate for a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)? Am I a candidate for a panniculectomy?

The ideal candidates for tummy tuck surgery are those who have a combination of loose or excess skin on their abdomen and/or excess abdominal fat. Almost all women who have had children will also have some degree of abdominal muscle laxity. Any of these conditions, or all three, can be corrected by a tummy tuck.

Tummy tuck surgery is a good option for you if:

  • You are physically healthy and at a stable weight

  • You have realistic expectations

  • You are a non-smoker

  • You are bothered by the feeling that your stomach is too large.

Panniculectomy candidates typically suffer from obesity, have recently experienced significant weight loss or suffer post-pregnancy issues with excessive fat located below the belly button.

You may be a candidate for panniculectomy if:

  • Excess fat causes health issues, including back problems, breakdown of skin, rashes, ulcers or skin disorders

  • Your weight has been stabilized for at least one year

  • You are participating in a proper dietary and exercise plan

  • You are a non-smoker

  • You have a positive outlook and realistic goals for what panniculectomy can achieve

  • You are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition and exercise.

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