What is a panniculectomy?
A panniculectomy is a procedure that removes the pannus, or the skin on the lower abdomen that hangs over the pubic area and sometimes down to the thighs. It is most often done for medical reasons, such as irritation under the pannus (rashes, ulcers, etc.) and interference with normal activities. A panniculectomy removes subcutaneous fat and skin below the belly button. This hanging belly usually occurs due to a very large weight loss from dieting or sometimes post-pregnancy.
Surgery typically takes from three to five hours and is done under general anesthesia. An incision is made right above the pubic area and outward to the hip area. The size of the incision is dependent on the amount of skin that will need to be excised. If any extensive tissue removal higher up on the abdomen or tightening of the muscles needs to happen as well, the patient may consider abdominoplasty.
- Can I see panniculectomy before and after pictures of people in the Cape Girardeau area?
- What is the average cost of a panniculectomy at Heartland Cosmetic & Hand Surgery? Is there a charge for the consultation?
- Is financing available? And will insurance cover any of the fees?
- Do I have to stop smoking before a panniculectomy?
- Is there anything I need to do to get myself ready for surgery?
- How do I know if I need a panniculectomy or a tummy tuck? Can I receive liposuction as well?
- Is there a better time of year to have a panniculectomy performed?
- What is my next step?
- Additional Body Contouring Procedures
Can I see panniculectomy before and after pictures of people in the Cape Girardeau area?
When you schedule a consultation visit, your surgeon will gladly show you before and after pictures of patients who have undergone a panniculectomy procedure. You will be able to see for yourself the huge difference this procedure has made in the lives of many people.
What is the average cost of a panniculectomy at Heartland Cosmetic & Hand Surgery? Is there a charge for the consultation?
The costs associated with a panniculectomy will vary depending on the extent of the surgery necessary as well as any other procedures performed in conjunction such as an additional thigh lift.
Is financing available? And will insurance cover any of the fees?
Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery accepts several types of payment. They are cash, credit cards (Visa, American Express, Discover, and Master Card), money orders, cashier checks, and financing with an outside agency. A panniculectomy may or may not be covered in part by commercial insurance; depending on whether or not it is deemed a medical necessity (hinders normal movement, causes rashes or ulcers, etc.). Cosmetic surgeries are not covered by commercial insurance and must be paid in full before surgery. Make sure that financing arrangements are made in advance with a finance company of your choosing.
Do I have to stop smoking before a panniculectomy?
We recommend that the patient cease smoking at least one month prior to and one month after surgery. The nicotine in cigarettes adversely affects the healing process, decreasing blood supply to the skin. Therefore, we advise that the patient not only avoid firsthand smoke, but secondhand smoke as well.
Is there anything I need to do to get myself ready for surgery?
Patients must stop taking blood thinners and vitamin E supplements at least one week before and after surgery to reduce bruising and lessen the risk of hematoma. You may need to get medical clearance from your doctor as well as instructions on how to stop the medication if you are currently on prescription blood thinners. It is almost important to cease all herbal medication and diet pills (prescription and over-the-counter) at least two weeks before and one week after surgery.
At Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery in Cape Girardeau, cosmetic surgeries are elective procedures. Our patients are required to be in overall good health before surgery can be performed. If there are any remaining questions regarding your health, we may need medical clearance from your primary care doctor.
How do I know if I need a panniculectomy or a tummy tuck? Can I receive liposuction as well?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is usually more of a cosmetic procedure, removing excess wrinkled skin and subcutaneous fat from the abdomen and tightening the underlying muscles. There are options for a full tummy tuck with incisions from hip to hip, where the skin is tightened from just below the ribs to above the pubic area, as well as a mini tummy tuck from the belly button down. Liposuction is not part of the process with a full tummy tuck due to complications with the blood supply that could occur. However, if a patient undergoes a mini tummy tuck, liposuction is part of the procedure and will blend upper and lower stomach areas together smoothly.
In contrast, a panniculectomy is performed when the patient’s pannus, or excess skin on the stomach that can hang down over genitals and thighs, causes discomfort to the patient. It may be difficult to keep up proper hygiene and irritations such as rashes may form. It may also be challenging to walk or go about a normal routine due to discomfort. This is usually seen only after a very drastic weight loss or sometimes pregnancy. The tissue underneath and the old muscles does not need to be tightened, and surgery occurs only below the belly button to remove the problematic pannus. A tummy tuck is generally more cosmetic in nature and involves tightening of the abdominal muscles and tissues of the stomach, and release of the extra fat and skin all the way up to the rib cage.
Is there a better time of year to have a panniculectomy performed?
You should schedule your panniculectomy surgery on a date where you will have the appropriate amount of time to heal. It can take from two to four weeks to fully recover, so you have to make adjustments in your work and home life to account for typical factors of recovery like swelling and pain medications.
What is my next step?
At Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, David Deisher, MD, and J. Stewart Humphrey, MD are board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. They offer plastic and hand surgery to patients across Missouri including Cape Girardeau, Jackson, and Sikeston. Your next step is to contact the Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery office in Cape Girardeau today at (573) 837-1610 to schedule your initial panniculectomy consultation. To make sure that all of your questions are answered by our surgeons, we suggest that you make a list of them to bring with you for your initial visit. Don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts and change your life forever. Call today!
Additional Body Contouring Procedures
David Deisher, MD and J. Stewart Humphrey, MD offer plastic and reconstructive surgery to patients across Missouri including Cape Girardeau, Jackson, Sikeston, Cape Girardeau County, Bollinger County, Perryville, and Dexter. Contact the Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery office today at (573) 837-1610 to schedule your panniculectomy consultation!