What is a Panniculectomy?

A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure intended to remove the pannus, or excess skin and tissue on the lower abdomen which is sometimes referred to as an “apron.” The pannus can often result from losing a significant amount of weight. Panniculectomy differs from a tummy tuck because the procedure does not tighten abdominal muscles and the primary purpose is to relieve negative symptoms from the pannus rather than achieve a flatter stomach for cosmetic reasons. For this reason, a panniculectomy is typically considered a medical procedure offered by plastic surgeons such as Dr. Falcon. Our Natrona Heights Office is located 15 miles from Fox Chapel and 17 miles from Aspinwall.

Am I a Candidate for Panniculectomy?

Panniculectomy candidates typically have excess skin or tissue around the abdomen which typically hangs and causes a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Some panniculectomy candidates may face back pain due to the excess tissues in addition to skin irritation or rashes, ulcers, or odor from moisture trapped by the loose skin.

Good candidates for a panniculectomy should also be generally healthy and at or near a healthy and stable weight. This includes being a nonsmoker, staying at a stable weight for at least six months prior to surgery, and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise. During your consultation, Dr. Falcon will review your health to ensure that panniculectomy is a safe and suitable option for you.

Some patients may also choose panniculectomy for cosmetic reasons if they do not have symptoms associated with the loose skin but do wish to change their appearance. In some of these cases, a tummy tuck may be a better option, but tightening the abdominal muscles may not be necessary for all patients. Dr. Falcon can explain the best plan for your surgery during a consultation after examining your abdominal area and discussing your cosmetic goals.

“He is a wonderful surgeon. He did a fantastic job with a very complicated surgery. I highly recommend him to anyone needing an outstanding plastic surgeon.”

-Michael M

What Can I Expect from Panniculectomy Recovery?

A majority of panniculectomies are performed on an outpatient basis, but you should have a trusted friend or family member drive you home from the surgery and care for you in the early stages of your recovery. After a panniculectomy, you will wear a compression garment to help reduce swelling and may have drains in place. Dr. Falcon can explain how to manage your drains and how long you should wear your compression garment through your recovery. Swelling and some discomfort are both normal, and you can take pain medication as prescribed to stay comfortable. For at least a week, it is important to avoid lifting heavy objects or performing strenuous activity, including exercise. Most patients need about one to two weeks away from work, school, or other daily routines to rest and recover after their panniculectomy. Dr. Falcon will monitor your healing progress during post-op appointments and advise when you can return to activities like exercise.

Is Panniculectomy Covered by Insurance?

Because a panniculectomy is usually considered a medical procedure, it is typically covered by health insurance. Before your surgery, you should check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage and the specifics of your plan. If you have questions regarding the cost of your panniculectomy, the staff at Falcon Plastic Surgery can help.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about panniculectomy and find out if you are a candidate, schedule a consultation with Dr. Falcon by calling our office or contacting us online.  Falcon Plastic Surgery’s Monroeville Office is conveniently located 10 miles from Delmont and 10 miles from Irwin.

State-of-the art, on site surgical suite located in Natrona Heights, PA

Our suite is certified with the highest level of accreditation by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF).

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