A panniculectomy is excision of the excess lower abdominal skin or the pannus. The pannus is the abdominal skin below the belly button that can fold over and hang down to or below the pubic area. This has also been called an abdominal apron. This skin can easily become irritated and develop rashes or ulcerations. It can also make it difficult to fit into clothes and make exercise and daily activities more difficult. Because of these factors, in many instances, insurance will pay to have this redundant skin removed.
A panniculectomy is not a cosmetic procedure but a functional surgery to remove the excess skin and decrease the problems that the skin has been causing.
It involves removing the excess lower abdominal (typically all below the belly button) skin and fat. This is usually performed through a horizontal lower abdominal incision that extends from hip to hip. The actual length of the scar is very dependent on the pannus and the amount of excess skin.
The surgery takes from 2-4 hours depending on the size of the person and the amount of excess skin. Recovery typically takes around 4 weeks. An abdominal binder or girdle is often utilized in the postoperative period. The results of surgery will be immediately apparent but due to postsurgical swelling the final results are not visualized for at least 6 months.
When you meet with Dr. Boll she will outline for you the results that you can expect, the risks of surgery, and the post-surgical recovery. If you desire this surgery to be covered by your insurance, her office will submit for approval of coverage.