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Panniculectomy is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen. In contrast to abdominoplasty, the abdominal muscle layer is not tightened. The procedure can significantly reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen. This procedure is occasionally covered by the health insurances.

The Preoperative visit

Consultation for panniculectomy consists of a thorough discussion of the patient's desires and concerns. An extensive evaluation of the patient's abdomen and body contour will be performed. Photographs will be reviewed. The available surgical options and Dr. Soltanianís recommendations will be discussed, including the limitations and risks of surgery. Panniculectomy may be performed in conjunction with liposuction and other procedures.

Ideal Candidates

The best candidates for panniculectomy are men and women who are in relatively good health but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won't respond to diet and exercise. Patients who intend to lose a significant amount of weight should postpone the surgery until they have reached the desired weight.

Panniculectomy is often a good remedy for patients who have lost significant amount of weight through dieting and exercise or bariatric surgery who do not want to undergo a full abdominoplasty.

The Procedure

Panniculectomy is usually performed at a hospital under general anesthesia. Patients are occasionally admitted for one day post-operatively. The procedure consists of removing excess skin and fat on the lower abdomen. The umbilicus is sometimes repositioned. The abdominal wall can be tightened in a similar fashion as in abdominoplasty but the insurance companies would not cover that portion of the procedure.

The Recovery

Following discharge patients will have drains in place for several days. Dr. Soltanian uses implantable catheters for continuous delivery of pain medication directly to the site of surgery which will reduce the need for narcotic pain medication. Patients are usually discharged with the pain pump. The pump and the catheters do not need additional care. Patients will return for follow-up visits on a weekly basis for the first month. Return to normal activities is slow. Most people remain out of work for 2-3 weeks.


Panniculectomy produces very good results for patients with excess skin. Some women may choose to undergo liposuction of their hips or other regions at the same time in order to achieve an enhanced result. In most cases, the results following panniculectomy are long lasting, provided you follow a balanced diet and exercise.





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