Tummy Tuck vs Panniculectomy, Which One is Right for Me?
If you’ve been researching body contouring procedures to improve the appearance of your midsection, you’ve likely come across the terms tummy tuck and panniculectomy. At first glance, they might seem similar. This is because they do have some similarities. Continue reading to find out what the main differences are between the two.
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a popular plastic surgery procedure for patients who want to improve the appearance of their midsection following pregnancy or weight loss. A tummy tuck is performed by making an incision below the natural crease on the lower abdomen. The abdominal muscles which may be split (rectus diastasis) leading to a bulging appearance are repaired. This results in a flatter abdominal contour. After that is done, the excess skin and fat are removed. A tummy tuck is often combined with a breast procedure like a breast lift or augmentation, which is commonly known as a mommy makeover.
What is a panniculectomy?
A panniculectomy is considered a functional procedure to remove excess skin that hangs over the lower abdominal crease. This is most commonly for patients who have had massive weight loss. They may suffer from rashes and infections underneath their pannus. Panniculectomy surgery leads to relief of the symptoms as well as improving the patient’s mobility and the way their clothes fit.
Tummy tuck versus panniculectomy
As you’ve already learned, a panniculectomy is considered a functional procedure while a tummy tuck is considered a cosmetic procedure. Patients who choose to have a panniculectomy only may have the entire procedure covered by insurance if they qualify. Dr. Kayastha can review qualifications for insurance panniculectomy at your consultation. Many patients would benefit from both procedures. A lot of patients who qualify for panniculectomy through insurance may add an abdominoplasty to their panniculectomy procedure to achieve the best possible result.
These procedures are both performed at the hospital under general anesthesia and take from 1 1/2 to 5 hours. Postoperatively patients have drains in place that are removed within two weeks. Often, patients will spend one evening in the hospital following the procedure. Ambulation is encouraged right away following surgery. Normal non-strenuous activities can be resumed right away. Most patients will not drive for two weeks while they’re using pain medication and they’re still feeling sore from the procedure. Patients resume more normal activities in the 2 to 6 week range. At that time drains have been removed and pain medication has been discontinued. Strenuous activity like going to the gym or participating in exercise classes is resumed at six weeks.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re interested in either a tummy tuck or panniculectomy, call the office to arrange a consultation. After he examines you, Dr. Kayastha, will outline a plan to help you achieve your goals.