Many people who have lost a significant amount of weight find that they are left with excess hanging skin. One area where this excess skin is common is in the pannus, also known as the abdominal apron.
This area refers to the excess fat and skin located in the lower abdomen, which often hangs just below the belt line. The pannus can cause back pain and hygiene problems, making day-to-day tasks difficult as it hangs in the way. A type of abdominoplasty procedure known as panniculectomy may be appropriate to remove this excess skin.
Ideal candidates are those whose weight has remained stable for the past 6 months and who are in good overall health. If you have recently had gastric bypass surgery or adjustable gastric banding surgery, then you are advised to wait for at least one year before undergoing panniculectomy to ensure that your body weight has stabilized and that any health issues arising from obesity, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, are under control.
A panniculectomy can be performed as a stand-alone procedure or combined with a traditional tummy tuck, body contouring, or other procedures such as a thigh lift.
During the initial recovery phase which typically lasts several weeks, you may experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Patients are advised to wear an elastic compression garment which supports the tissues as they heal. Many patients are back to work within about three weeks of the surgery although it may take several months for the surgical area to heal completely.