Dr. Hootan Daneshmand
Panniculectomy in Bakersfield, CA
A panniculectomy is one of many types of skin removal surgeries that gastric bypass patients undergo in order to improve their health and quality of life. This surgery removes excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen. After dramatic weight loss, this overhanging skin may make simple activities like bathing and changing clothes a major challenge. Not only that, but this excess skin can cause other health problems like skin rashes and sores. If this sounds like your current situation, you may be a good candidate for a panniculectomy.
If you believe that a panniculectomy – or any other cosmetic procedure – will greatly improve your self-confidence and quality of life, schedule an appointment with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Daneshmand. Dr. Daneshmand has more than 30 years of experience in performing every cosmetic surgery under the sun. He is passionate about making sure all of his patients leave his office feeling more beautiful and confident. Call 949-359-8397 to schedule an appointment at Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute today.
What is a Panniculectomy?
A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the abdominal pannus. The abdominal pannus – also called an abdominal apron – is fat and loose skin from the lower abdomen. The abdominal apron tends to hang over the pubic area and the thighs, making daily mobility and personal hygiene a struggle for most people.
Most patients who need a panniculectomy have previously endured gastric bypass surgery for the sake of substantial weight loss. Gastric bypass patients often lose upwards of 100 pounds. After major weight loss like this, patients typically have lots of sagging skin all over their bodies: their stomach, upper arms, legs, back, and more. In order to live the most normal and comfortable life possible after weight loss, a panniculectomy is often necessary.
Panniculectomy vs. Tummy Tuck
A panniculectomy and a tummy tuck are similar in that they both remove excess skin from the abdominal area. But the two surgical procedures are different.
The goal of tummy tucks is to achieve a flatter stomach after pregnancy or weight loss. Plastic surgeons not only remove excess fat and loose skin around the bikini line, but they also tighten the abdominal muscles.
Unlike a tummy tuck, a panniculectomy only removes excess skin from the lower abdomen. Plastic surgeons do not tighten abdominal muscles during this procedure. Therefore, a panniculectomy is generally not considered a cosmetic surgery. Tummy tucks are generally performed for only cosmetic reasons, while removal of overhanging skin is necessary for overall health.
Other Common Fat Removal Procedures
Gastric bypass patients may be eligible for other skin and fat removal surgeries aside from a panniculectomy. Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute also offers the following cosmetic procedures:
- Traditional and Power Assisted Liposuction: Liposuction is a body contouring procedure. It works by literally sucking out fat cells from specific parts of the body such as the stomach, outer thighs, back, etc. Combining liposuction with a panniculectomy can remove fat deposits and help the patient feel more confident.
- CoolSculpting, also known as cryolipolysis, is a minimally invasive procedure that freezes fat cells. At a certain temperature, the fat cells die. Over the course of several weeks or months after the procedure, the immune system flushes out the excess fat. Most patients report a nice body contouring effect from CoolSculpting. However, this outpatient procedure should not be used solely for weight loss purposes.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Panniculectomy?
You may be a good candidate for excess skin and fat removal in the lower abdomen if:
- Your loose skin causes health issues like skin rashes, back pain, and sores.
- Your struggle to move around and bathe because the loose skin is in the way.
- You don’t smoke.
- You have reached (or you’re close to) your target weight.
- Your medical history indicates that you are in generally good health.
- You follow a healthy diet and you exercise regularly in order to keep your weight stable.
- You have realistic expectations about this type of surgery.
How Panniculectomy Surgery Works
A board certified plastic surgeon – like Dr. Daneshmand – will generally perform this type of surgical procedure. This is how it works.
An anesthesiologist will first sedate the patient with general anesthesia. Then, the plastic surgeon may make two large incisions. One incision extends from hip bone to hip bone. The other incision may extend from the breast bone down to the pelvic bone. The number and length of the incisions depends on how much extra skin the plastic surgeon needs to remove. Once the surgeon is done removing fat and skin, they will close up the incisions. The surgeon may also insert drains in order to remove excess fluid. Once the surgery is complete, the patient will be wheeled to their recovery room. They can go home in 1 to 3 days, depending on their vitals.
The belly button may need to be removed or repositioned during this surgery. If this is the case, the surgeon will notify the patient of this beforehand.
How Much Weight Can You Lose from a Panniculectomy?
The answer to this question heavily depends on how large the abdominal apron is. The average amount of weight lost during this surgery is approximately 16 pounds, according to this study. But the weight of excess skin and fat removed can vary from 10 pounds to 50 pounds.
What to Expect During Panniculectomy Recovery Time
A panniculectomy is a major surgery that requires a few weeks of recovery time. Most people don’t get back to all of their normal activities for at least 2 to 3 months. It’s important to keep this in mind before going under the knife.
Your plastic surgeon will likely instruct you to wear a compression garment while you heal. You will also be given specific instructions on wound cleaning, drain cleaning, movement, eating habits, antibiotics, and pain medications. Most patients experience significant pain, swelling, and bruising in the weeks following surgery. Once healed though, patients generally have a much better quality of life.
Panniculectomy Risks and Complications
This skin removal surgery comes with a number of risks and complications, including:
- Excessive bleeding
- Significant pain
- Blood clots
- Nerve damage
- Seroma (fluid accumulation)
- Numbness around the incision sites
It’s important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon for a panniculectomy or any other cosmetic surgery procedure. While every single surgery comes with its own set of risks, a board certified plastic surgeon – like Dr. Daneshmand – can ensure you have the best possible surgery and recovery period.
How Much Does a Panniculectomy Cost?
According to RealSelf – a site where plastic surgery patients across the U.S. discuss their experiences – the average cost of a panniculectomy is $7,871. This price tag will vary depending on your geographic location, your surgeon’s experience, and whether or not you undergo another cosmetic procedure – like liposuction – at the same time. Be sure to call Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute to get an exact cost.
Some health insurance providers may cover some or all of this procedure, while others may not. If you’re undergoing this skin removal surgery only for aesthetic purposes, you may not receive coverage from your health insurance provider. Meanwhile, if you’re getting excess skin removed to improve a medical condition – like skin rashes and ulcers under the abdominal apron – your health insurance may provide coverage. The best way to find out is to speak with your plastic surgeon and your health insurance provider.