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When a person loses a large amount of weight from surgery or diet and exercise, it can lead to numerous life improvements. However, one negative effect can be the appearance of excess skin and loose tissue hanging from the abdomen. This skin and tissue, which are called the pannus, often make people feel self-conscious about exposing their stomach. If you’re suffering from a significant amount of excess abdominal skin and fat, panniculectomy may be the solution you’re looking for.

What Is Panniculectomy?

Panniculectomy is a surgical cosmetic procedure used to remove hanging skin and tissue from the lower abdominal area.

Pretty woman with hair slicked back wearing black sports bra and workout pants

How Does Panniculectomy Work?

Typically, a panniculectomy is performed using one or two large incisions. The surgeon then removes excess skin and fat through these incisions. Finally, the remaining skin and tissue are brought together using stitches to ensure that the lower abdomen remains flat and firm. In some cases, the surgeon may also reposition the belly button during a panniculectomy.

Benefits of Panniculectomy

Panniculectomy can provide multiple benefits for anyone experiencing hanging abdominal skin and fat:

  • Flatter, firmer, more youthful-looking lower abdominal area
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Improved comfort
  • Alleviates irritation and rashes caused by the pannus
  • Increased ability for physical exercise
  • Reduces the health risks of excess abdominal fat
  • Reduces the strain on your back

What Should I Expect During the Surgery?

If you believe that panniculectomy is the right choice for you, you can get the process started by having a consultation with Charlotte plastic surgeon Dr. Pratt. Dr. Pratt will discuss the procedure and your aesthetic goals with you to help you decide if the surgery is the ideal option. He’ll also ask you about your medical history, allergies, and any medications you’re taking, and he may examine your lower abdomen as well. This information will be used to create a personalized treatment plan.

Panniculectomy is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, but it can take up to five hours to complete. To begin, you’ll be administered general anesthesia to render you temporarily unconscious. Next, Dr. Pratt will make a horizontal incision between your hip bones and, in some cases, a vertical incision down to your pubic bone. He will then carefully remove the excess skin and tissue of the pannus before stitching together what remains. Finally, the doctor will close your incisions with sutures and apply bandages to the treatment area.

Dr. Broc  Pratt

How Long Is the Recovery Time?

Usually, you can return home a few hours after your panniculectomy, but in some cases, overnight observation may be necessary. Dr. Pratt will provide you with thorough instructions to ensure that you heal properly following the surgery. You’ll need to rest frequently for several days, and you may experience pain, swelling, and bruising.

Ideally, you should wait at least four weeks before returning to work and your normal routine after a panniculectomy. It’s also important to wait at least six weeks before lifting anything heavy or engaging in strenuous exercise.

Am I a Candidate for Panniculectomy?

Adults with a significant pannus that they’d like removed could be candidates for panniculectomy. You may be an ideal candidate for the surgery if you meet these requirements:

  • You’re unhappy with your excess abdominal skin and fat
  • You’re in generally good health
  • You’re a non-smoker
  • Your weight has been stable for at least six months
  • You have realistic expectations

How Long Will It Take To See Results After Panniculectomy?

You may not notice the full results of your panniculectomy initially due to swelling and your inability to stand fully upright. However, your flatter, more attractive new abdomen should become visible after one to two weeks.

Why Choose Dr. Pratt for Panniculectomy?

Dr. Broc Pratt is a board-certified plastic surgeon known for his skill, generosity, and compassionate approach to cosmetic surgery. From your consultation all the way through your panniculectomy procedure, Dr. Pratt will work closely with you to ensure that your unique needs are being prioritized. He will approach your surgery with precision and attention to detail to provide you with the superb results you deserve.

Photo of Charlotte Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Pratt
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