Tummy Tuck vs Panniculectomy – Which Is Right For You?

Are you looking to reshape your abdomen into a firmer, tighter overall contour? Do you find yourself with unwanted excess skin and fat – which might even be affecting your mobility and activity in daily life?

Tummy tucks and panniculectomies have worked wonders for countless people all over the country, but it isn’t always easy to understand which surgical option is right for you and your body. That’s why we’ve written up this simple guide to panniculectomies and tummy tucks, helping you to understand the options available to you.

This blog explains the basics of panniculectomies and abdominoplasties, outlining what each procedure entails and who they are best suited for. For personalised advice, contact A/Prof Dean White today.

What is a Panniculectomy?

Chances are, you’ve heard of a tummy tuck before. You are less likely, however, to have a solid understanding of what a panniculectomy is. Essentially, a panniculectomy is a surgery that removes the ‘pannus’ – an apron of skin that hangs over the stomach, genitals, and legs, especially following a massive weight loss. This cosmetic procedure contours the body, removing the loose and sagging skin from the abdomen and any other affected areas surrounding it.

A panniculectomy is typically performed under general anesthesia. During surgery, an incision is made just beneath the sternum, extending down to the pubic bone, where another horizontal incision will be made. From there, the surgeon is able to remove unnecessary fat and skin from the targeted area, and the remaining skin will be pulled tightly and sutured together. Crafting a new belly button and ensuring the skin is taut, the surgeon will create a natural, firmer appearance to the abdomen.

Who Benefits Best From a Panniculectomy?

Although there are most certainly exceptions, many patients undergoing a panniculectomy have gone through massive weight loss, or had serious pregnancy complications that have done damage to skin which leaves it unable to repair its natural shape. In these cases, the pannus can become large enough that it affects the quality of daily life experienced by these patients. At times extending as far as the patient’s knees, this excess skin can cause a variety of problems and annoyances.

Health issues such as back pain, skin disorders, ulcers, and rashes can all be connected to the pannus. Likewise, excessive loose skin and fat can hinder the ability to perform important everyday tasks, causing a massive disruption to regular life. Patients can struggle with tasks as simple as walking, sitting, standing, or driving.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

‘Tummy tuck’ is the more common name given to an abdominoplasty, which is essentially a procedure that goes several steps further than a panniculectomy will. This particular surgery is a more extensive option for patients looking to reshape their figure. Rather than strictly removing excess skin or minor fat, a tummy tuck works to repair and reshape the abdominal muscle structure. Layers of the abdominal muscles that may have loosened, stretched, or split through time or extreme experiences such as pregnancy can be tightened and reformed.

With a tummy tuck, patients can contour their bodies to an extent that a panniculectomy cannot provide. By targeting the muscles, a surgeon is able to create a trimmer, more toned appearance to the shape and contours of the abdomen, building an overall more sleek and slender figure for the patient.

Who Benefits Best From a Tummy Tuck?

An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a more popular option for people looking to tighten their abdomen. Many, though not all, of clients receiving tummy tucks have been through pregnancy and childbirth, and are looking to reshape their figure again. If you have excess skin over your middle abdomen or are looking to tighten separated stomach muscles, chances are that a comprehensive tummy tuck is likely going to be the best fit for you, instead of a panniculectomy.

Book an Appointment With A/Prof Dean White to Discuss Your Best Surgical Option

As you consider what form of cosmetic surgery is best suited for you, doing research is an amazing first step. Educating yourself about different procedures to find out what you’re looking for can inform you a lot, but nothing beats sitting down with an experienced surgeon to find your best fit. If you’re looking to enquire about a panniculectomy or a tummy tuck, then a consultation with a knowledgeable plastic surgeon Melbourne will be able to offer you more personalised guidance on the matter.

Book an appointment with A/Prof Dean White today to discuss your options.



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