If you’ve lost a considerable amount of weight, then congratulations! You’re taking a positive step forward for your health. Staying at a weight that’s healthy for your height and body type can reduce your risk for a number of health conditions and boost your mental well-being as well. However, it’s common to be left with loose, sagging skin that doesn’t respond to dieting and exercise alone. For this reason, body contouring procedures are a popular option after weight loss, and there are a few key differences between some of the most effective options. Here’s what to know about them and what to expect with Dr. Newman.

What is a Panniculectomy?

A panniculectomy is a plastic surgery procedure that involves eliminating loose, sagging skin from the midsection on the body. It’s named for the pannus, which is the portion of loose, excess skin that hangs over the abdomen, legs, and pubic area after significant weight loss. The procedure can be done alone or along with a tummy tuck.

If you have a lot of loose, hanging skin after losing weight, it can also interfere with your everyday activities. This excess skin can cause various health issues, such as back problems, ulcers, rashes, and other skin conditions. This means that a panniculectomy can come with some medical benefits as well as cosmetic ones.

How is a Panniculectomy Performed?

A board-certified plastic surgeon performs a panniculectomy with general anesthesia. It’s usually complete in a few hours, and you may be required to stay in the hospital after your procedure.

During a panniculectomy, an incision is made under the sternum that goes down to the pubic bone. A second incision is made horizontally near that area, which allows your plastic surgeon to remove fat and excess skin. Afterward, the skin is pulled tightly and the area is sutured together to make for a slimmer, more contoured look. Your plastic surgeon may also create a new belly button to complete your look.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, which is also known as abdominoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure that involves repairing the abdominal area after significant weight loss. Like a panniculectomy, it aims to deliver a more contoured, slim figure, but it’s a more extensive procedure due to the muscles also being addressed.

How is a Tummy Tuck Performed?

A tummy tuck is also performed under general anesthesia by your plastic surgeon. It involves an incision, usually in the pelvic area, through which excess fat can be removed. Any excess skin is also pulled tighter and excised. It also includes an important step where the underlying muscles are sutured into a tighter and more supported position. Then, a new belly button is created and the incisions are closed.

What’s the Difference Between the Two Procedures?

Although panniculectomy and tummy tuck are often confused, they are different procedures. The panniculectomy addresses only the pannus, or apron of skin that usually exists around the midsection. Tummy tucks, on the other hand, deal with skin and muscle laxity in the abdominal area. Many times, they can be combined for even more effective results after weight loss.

Schedule a Consultation

Meeting with a board certified plastic surgeon is one of the best ways to learn more about your best options for body contouring after weight loss. To get started, we invite you to contact our St. Petersburg office by calling or filling out our online form.