For people who have achieved significant weight loss, the euphoria can go away quickly when they realize they’ve been left with excess skin. Even with diet and exercise, it is common to have a great deal of excess skin in a spot known as the abdominal apron, or the pannus.
The abdominal apron specifically refers to any excess fat and skin that hangs below the belt line. The pannus will often make day-to-day activities difficult to complete, as well as causes hygiene issues and back pain. Those who suffer from a pannus and have achieved a stable weight over the past 6 months are eligible for a procedure called a panniculectomy.
A panniculectomy removes the excess skin and fat that hangs down. It’s important to note that if you’ve had a gastric bypass or gastric banding surgery, you must wait at least a year to ensure your weight has stabilized and that any health problems stemming from your obesity are currently under control.
Before deciding to undergo a panniculectomy, it is imperative to realize that the procedure is considered a major abdominal surgery and comes with potential risks and complications.
A panniculectomy is performed using general anesthesia. Once the anesthesia has been administered, the procedure will take about three to five hours to complete.
Your surgeon will create an incision that runs from both hips, and down to the pubic region. These incisions are part of the reason a panniculectomy is considered a major abdominal surgery, and gives the surgeon the most access to the tissues that are inside the lower abdomen.
Through this large incision, the excess fat and skin that hang over the belt line are removed. If most of the excess tissue being removed is fat, lipoplasty may be used as well. Once the excess fat and skin has been surgically removed, the tissue that remains is smoothed out to look more aesthetically pleasing, and sutured together along the incisions. It is common for panniculectomies to be performed at the same time as other procedures like a tummy tuck (also known as an abdominoplasty) thigh lift, or body contouring to achieve a uniformly pleasing look.
After receiving a panniculectomy, you will be required to spend at least one night at the hospital. Staying at the hospital at least temporarily ensures better healing, and allows complications to be taken care of quickly if they arise.
After returning home, fully recovery from a panniculectomy can take several months. In the first few weeks, you are expected to experience bruising, swelling, and some mild discomfort. It’s also recommended that patients wear a compression garment, to aid in healing tissues while supporting them. After a few weeks of recovery at home, most patients can return to work.
If you’d like to learn more about this procedure, and find out if you’re a qualified candidate, please contact Laurel Cosmetics for a consultation!