My Panniculectomy Journey - Longview, TX

I've have this pannus since I was young and after...

I've have this pannus since I was young and after having two kids its just gotten worse,I didn't even know what a panniculectomy was till My general surgeon told me about it ,I was seeing him to get lipomas removed from my abdomen ,he referred me to a plastic surgeon for the panniculectomy that was last yr 2012 my ins is bcbs ppo, I was denied then due to not enough medical documentation,so I made it a mission to see my general doc everytime I had a abdominal rash ,I was sent to a dermotologist .I decided I had gathered enough documentation 3 months worth plus last yrs visits ,my plastic surgeon then filled again June 15 by mid July I was told I was approved , I was over the moon . I can't wait to see my results :) ill post more as my surgery approaches and after results any questions feel free to ask .

pre-op appt

Pre- op appt went well ,took for ever to see Dr hawner tho about 1hr+ 10m they took some more pics and made me fill out paper work before the big day ,I get to do blood work and pre- registration at longview regional tomorrow hopefully the wait there is not to bad on a good note I will have a new belly button :)

pre- op registration @ hospital

Registration was a bit better, wait wasn't as bad had to fill out forms and pay hospital wanted to have everything done so I wouldn't have to deal with it on surgery day after wards had blood drawn ,blood pressure and oxygen levels checked ,was given forms on what to do before surgery and what time to be there ,was given special soap to wash with the night before and morning of surgery ,I still can't believe I'm having this done ,but I'm ready for it :)

abdomen before surgery

Hate it!

Surgery Day

I'm extremely tired and swore ,some areas burn like crazy and the nausea is so bad but only when I'm up and moving ,laying down not so bad ,everyone In the hospital was so sweet and helpful ,seen Dr hawner for little bit just to outline tummy ,I feel huge tho ,can't wait to see how it looks yet nervous ,anyways ill post pics when I'm feeling better.

8/21/2013 post op appt

6 days post op, went to see Dr hawner today says I'm healing well, doesn't want me doing much of anything just rest ,got my left drain taken out and hopefully next week the right one ,I do find myself very tired after taking a shower ,I haven't really had a big appetite I'm usually good with small portions ,haven't had time or energy to take pictures ,hopefully soon tho.

post op day 14

Still some swealing but looking better everyday..

Right drain finally out

Seen Dr hawner today finally got my right drain out ,it was driving me nuts,got my belly button stitches out ,everythings falling into place little by little still swollen my thighs seem to get swollen as well other than that ok ,hopefully it keeps getting better ...

No more drains !_!

Longview Plastic Surgeon

Overall I think my surgeon was good answered my questions ,never felt like he didnt care ,he seems to give 100% to give you the best results I never felt like he didn't ,if I ever considered getting anything else done I would come back and see him.The only thing i would recomend his office to do is work on there office wait time, They take way to long .

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 5 others found this helpful

Comments (66)

Sort by

Hello I was reading your blog, I wanted to know how much have your tummy went down as of now
  • Reply
Hi, you look great. I live in Jacksonville, so Longview would be the closet surgeon for pannua surgery. I had Cushing's disease for years, well now, but my stomach over hangs, can't get rid of it with exercise or diet.
  • Reply
its been a couple months and i gotta say its had its up and downs , some days i like the way my tummy looks and there's days i get so swollen that i'm like wth" but its still 100x better than before ,i need to go back nxt yr to check on the cyst or mass ive developed in my lower abdomen if it does not go away by then ill have to have it removed so we shall see ,posting pics soon
  • Reply
Im having the same feelings...happy when im not swollen, but very disapointed after a busy day, and i look almost barrel stomached..i feel like my stomach is bloated most of he time...aunt flow decided to visit me yesterday, so more bloat..feel like in my third trimester.
  • Reply
Hard to believe but it's been 58 days since my surgery. It was a rough recovery, but I am back at work after 6 weeks off and doing well. Really glad to have that extra flap of skin gone! It's great. My incision looks great and I'm told will continue to improve over time. Had a bit of problem with drainage, didn't get the 2nd drain out until week 5 and that was such a relief! I think the drains were overall the worst part.
  • Reply
You are looking great. Just rest and rest some more. I guess you didn't have the muscle repair, but neithe did I. You look fairly small so I doubt that will matter with you. Congrats on your new you!
  • Reply
No I did not get the muscle repair only got what ins covered,happy with it tho my clothes fit wonderful now especially since I don't have to tuck the extra flap,I tried running the other day that's not gonna happen just yet still painful but hopefully soon I'm sure its just gonna get better and look better from here on..
  • Reply
take your time before you start with the running, I started back after my surgery in the gym riding stationary bikes. Even then I took it easy. It was about a month after surgery that the ps gave me the ok. You will get there soon. I now am on my treadmill and hour to two hours 6 days a week.. I have every intention of getting closer to your size at some point. You really should be very proud, you look great.
  • Reply
Your progress looks awesome ,you look way thinner than me I've grown some turkey legs after surgery my thighs are huge lol I've been walking a lot more just waiting for a Lil cooler weather to really get started but like you said gotta take it easy
  • Reply
I really didn't know how big my thighs were until my pannus was gone either lol. I started taking measurements 5 weeks ago. I wish I had started before my surgery. Well I measure arms, breast, chest, waist, hips and thighs. In 5 weeksi I am down 7 inches all over.. but. Just thighs are down 11/2 inches. Thought I would tell you too if want to start your own diary. Now is a good time. And I am down 9 lbs. Far from goal but a start. Thanks for reading, have a great day!
  • Reply
My PS advise me to start walking immediately, just don't over do it. She told me to sit for longer than 30 minutes without getting up and taking a walk. She did tell NO exercise until after 4 weeks. I am going to post some before pictures on Sunday or Monday, cause my surgery is Tuesday. I am still a little nervous about the outcome.
  • Reply
I totally agree with you as far as getting up and walking every half hour or at least once an hour. But that is it. I have seen here where some have tried to start doing to much to soon, and will regret the outcome. Even if it is only one person in a hundred or more. Dont' take that chance. Walking will help you from getting blod clots in your legs. My ps told me to make trips to the restroom or kitchen, but no more than that at first. Your body will tell you when you over do. Mine did, I tried to go to the grocery to soon and was lucky my husband was with me, we had to leave after just a couple isles. Crazy how weak you can get so fast. I still think rest rest and more rest is the key to a healthy recovery. Just keep a little blood pumping to your limbs with very short walks around the house. Panny for a granny I hope you get the results you want, as I am sure you will love them. I am still in awe of what my ps did. The difference in my before and after is like a different person. It feels like it too.... Best wishes to you on Tuesday. I was nervous as well but it is so worth it, if I ever do another procedure I now know it will be fine. See ya on the flat side!!!
  • Reply
I am now one month post-op and just got one of my drains out today! Thank you God! My drainage had been high and on my first post-op I was told not to move around so much! That was hard because beside being in bed, getting up to use the bathroom and/or go out to the kitchen for meals, I wasn't moving around much at all! I certainly wasn't going to stores or anything. In fact, I hadn't left the house except for the post-op appointment. My doc said that what you have afterwards on the inside is raw tissue rubbing against raw tissue everytime you move which creates blister like fluid, the less movement the less friction and the less fluid and the quicker the skin binds back to the muscle and tissue inside. I came about as close to total bed-rest there for well over a week as you can get without it actually being total bed-rest because I really wanted these drains out. Still my output was high. Finally, this past weekend drain #1 finally started dipping below the 30 measurement. My other drain is still around 70 and doc said that could go up for a few days to compensate for drain #1. He said I'll probably be off work another two weeks. You will most likely have a compression wrap put around you and it can get annoying but it is so very important to leave it on. I only had mine off to shower and every few days my hubby would toss it in the wash for me. Overall, I have to say that even if this had not been a medical necessity for me (I had the cysts and open sores in my skin), and even knowing what I know now, I would have this done again. So Panny for a Granny -- it is well worth it! Just make sure you have some good support at home for help with changing dressings, showering, especially the first few times (helpful if you have a shower chair) and meals and things like that. And remember the incision site when you first see it might make you cringe, but it gets better and better every day. I can see now after a month that in time, mine will barely be visible. And the other ladies are correct, it is amazing to me how quickly weak and tired I can get if I do walk too far. Once on the way home from 2nd post-op with doc we stopped for lunch -- wow I was freaking exhausted by time I got home. And then my mother went in the hospital for open heart surgery. I did go to the hospital after she was in recovery (my doc knew about it) and spent about 1/2 hour with her and again - absolutely exhausted by time I got home. Felt bad about not being able to visit her every day in the hospital, but I just physically couldn't do it. Incidentally, she is 83 years old had a valve replacement and one bypass and is doing fantastic. She's going to heal up before I do. Will be keeping you in my prayers. It'll all work out.
  • Reply
Thanks. I will not do alot of walking other than to the bathroom or the kitchen. I may walk to the living room just to get out of the bedroom. I will post my before and after pictures. I am taking my before pictures on Monday the day before surgery. I will post after pictures as soon as I feel better. Again Thanks.
  • Reply
Thanks I have will have some support at home. My husband will help with showers and cooking meals and my sons are there for anything else I may need. I not so much worried about the scar I have a C-Section although I can't see it anymore cause of the overlapping skin. lol (I have to joke so I won't be so nervous). I am more worried about the muffin top and if that will eventually turn into another overlapping skin, and I will be doing this surgery again next. Thanks for you help with overdoing it. I don't plan on doing to much just getting up to walk to bathroom, kitchen, or living room so I won't develop blot clots. I was wondering about the compression wrap, I thought you don't want you to keep them on for a long just a couple of days.
  • Reply
I too had a C-Section scar! LOL. My panny scar is basically just my c-section scar extended hip to hip only I think it will look better the original scar. Check with your doctor on the compression wrap while you are still in the hospital. Ask him how long you are suppose to wear it. My doc still has me wearing it because it limits movement on my insides. For the most part I only had it off to shower and every few days we'd wash it and I'd just lay in bed waiting for it to come out of the wash. But I did have a few days where when I was in bed, I did not wear it simply because I was hot and uncomfortable so I un-did it while I was laying down. Also, I found I really could only lay on my back and I'm a side sleeper so that's been hard for me. With the right drain out I was actually able to sleep last night on my right side for a little while - what a nice change! On the wrap my hubby would have to put it back on me because it stretches and uses velco to close -- no way a person can put the thing on by themselves! Even the doc has his nurse help him. I know what you mean about wondering if the upper skin is just going to become overlapping once again. I am over-weight to begin with (working on that - wish I could've lost what I needed to lose before having this surgery but oh well, it couldn't wait because of the infected skin) so as I lose more weight am I just going to find myself needing this surgery again in a year or two? Only then, it will probably need to be a full tummy tuck.
  • Reply
good luck Panny for granny. You will love the changes in your body. Take care and like you said let everyone wait on you for as long as possible. Hope to see you next week on the flat side.
  • Reply
I am having a Panniculectomy on 9/17/13. My soctor is only doing what insurance paid for removal of skin. I will not get a new belly button, I am a little scared of what it will look like at the surgery. I am scared that it will look worst than before the surgery. My pannus gave me a low slef esteem issue and now I am fearful this will make my self esteem lower if I look like I was massacred from the waist down.
  • Reply
I still kept my belly button. I don't know you might want to argue that with the insurance company from an emotional standpoint. I have to tell you I am 50 years old and recovery is not fun, the drains drive me crazy, but it has now been 16 days since my surgery and I am glad I had it done. You will look and feel much better about yourself. I do not have have any before and after photos of myself, tho my surgeon has before photos. Do you have anyone to help you with your post-op care such as changing the surgical dressings and such? I still have the drains in. See my doc for my 2nd post op this Friday and hope to get at least one of them out.
  • Reply
Are they removing your belly button or just going to leave it and pull down the skin? If you take a look at my profile you will see what I have been thru..
  • Reply
My surgery got post-poned until 10/1, so I have time to call my insurance company to see if they will pay for it. I asked my PS can I pay the difference to have my BB relocated and she said that it will cost alot, plus it will change the cost that the hospital will charge. I will try calling my insurance company today since I still have a couple of days before surgery. Thanks.
  • Reply
No I am just pulling skin down. I not sure if I will feel worst or better about myself after the procedure.
  • Reply
PS is leaving my BB and pulling down the skin, so my BB will be lower than where it should be.
  • Reply
I think it looks great! If mine comes out like yours i will be sooooo happy! 2 weeks from today i go in for my breast reduction and panni. At this point i just want it all over with. The days seem long. :/
  • Reply
Thanks ,it will be here sooner than you think!
  • Reply