A panniculectomy surgically removes a pannus. A pannus is excess skin and adipose (fatty) tissue, sometimes referred to as an apron, that hangs down over the genitals and/or thighs.
The University of Michigan is a nationally recognized leader in reconstructive surgery. Our team of board-certified plastic surgeons and medical specialists guide our patients through every step of the panniculectomy process to ensure the best results possible.
Is a Panniculectomy Right for You?
Excess pannus tissue can make it difficult to maintain good hygiene in the genital area. It also can make it difficult to walk and perform other physical activities. If you have any of these concerns, it may be beneficial to consider a panniculectomy.
Note: The difference between a panniculectomy and abdominoplasty [[link]] is that a panniculectomy only removes the apron of the skin. There is no undermining of tissue or lightening of old muscles.
A panniculectomy is best for patients who are otherwise in good health, without active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions, and have realistic expectations of the outcome of the surgery. If you plan to become pregnant or to lose a significant amount of weight, you should discuss these plans with your doctor before surgery. Panniculectomy is not a treatment for obesity or a substitute for proper diet and exercise.
Alternatives to Panniculectomy
During your initial physical examination, your plastic surgeon may find that you would be a good candidate for less invasive procedures that would still allow you to meet your appearance goals. Alternative procedures may include liposuction or an abdominoplasty, a procedure that reduces the hanging skin in the abdominal area.
About the Procedure
Most often, the surgeon will make two incisions. The first is a long incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. A complete panniculectomy can take from 2 to 5 hours, depending on the extent of work required.
If you’re interested in a panniculectomy, we’ll first have you come for a personal consultation with your plastic surgeon. You will have the opportunity to discuss your goals and the results you’d like to achieve. Your surgeon will work with you to reach an understanding about what you can expect from this procedure and the long-term benefits. Every patient is different, and your surgeon will choose the surgical technique and treatment plan that is right for you. During your initial consultation, you should expect to:
- Provide a complete medical history. Include information about any previous surgical procedures; past and present medical conditions; and all medications or herbal supplements you are taking.
- Have your surgeon examine your abdomen, including the quality of your abdominal skin; the location of any existing scars; the amount and location of any excess fat; and the status of the underlying muscles.
- Discuss possible risks and complications.
Preparing for Your Surgery
After your consultation and decisions about surgery, we will give you pre-operative information that explains everything you should do and know before your procedure. Your surgical team will instruct you on how to prepare. You should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery. You also may want to make arrangements for someone to help you for a day or two while you heal.
We use general anesthetic so that you will sleep and remain comfortable throughout the procedure.
After Your Surgery
It’s very important that you follow your surgeon's instructions. This will promote healing and improve progress towards your new physical appearance. It is also important that you attend all follow-up appointments so that your surgeon can assess your long-term results and answer any questions or concerns.
Your procedure will take place in the University of Michigan Hospitals state-of-the-art surgical suites and recovery areas. We complete most of these procedures on an outpatient basis.
We conduct all pre-operative and post-operative visits at Domino’s Farms where our patients enjoy personalized care in a private office atmosphere.