Should I get a tummy tuck or pannectomy? (photo)

I am 46 yr old female. I have had a mild heart attack & stent in July 2013. I have always wanted a tummy tuck, have a flat tummy & be rid of hanging skin. Also for better health and help to lose weight. But Im not rich & have poor credit. Ive lost weight from 210 to 180 & stuck there. I have hip, lower back & knee pain from just walking around the mall. I also have irritation, burning & odor under the flap. I have also had a full hysterectomy. I want comfort & a boost in self esteem. Help

Doctor Answers 5

Panniculectomy not tummy tuck is better option for you

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Thank you for your question.  I agree with others that based on your cardiac history a time-consuming tummy tuck would not be a good idea.  The panniculectomy is a much shorter operation, however you still need to have your cardiologist and plastic surgeon discuss whether this type of surgery is safe for you based on your medical condition.

Panniculectomy Vs. Abdominoplasty

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Yours is a challenging case and requires a lengthy discussion with your surgeon and your cardiologist.  A full tummy tuck is likely a bad idea.  A tummy tuck is a primarily cosmetic operation and requires recuperation far in excess to a panniculectomy. A panniculectomy can either be done for cosmetic reasons or for health reasons.  It may be easier to justify a panniculectomy, which can be done in under an hour with minimal anesthesia and not a great deal of recovery rather than a full tummy tuck. You will not have a flat stomach but the lower overhanging skin will be gone.  
You will have to figure out how important this procedure is to you knowing that you would not be expected to have dramatic aesthetic results.  That's where the bulk of your time in a consult would likely be focused on. Find a surgeon you like and trust and know that it may not be the first one you meet.
Dr. Pyle

Jeremy Pyle, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Type of tummy tuck

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A full tummy tuck tightens the muscle layer of the abdomen as well as removing the loose skin. This will give you a better long-term result compared to just removing the loose skin, but has a longer recovery time than simply removing the loose skin (panniculectomy). This does not add much time to the surgery, and I would choose this option if you want the best result from your surgery. Regards Dr Charles Cope

Charles Cope, MD
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Abdominal Panniculectomy vs Tummy Tuck

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Given your cardiac history, your abdominal operation should be the one that provides an improvement but with the least amount of time to do it and physical stress and recovery on you. That would be the abdominal panniculectomy. It may not make you the flattest but it would get rid of the overhang with the least risk of potential complications.

Tummy Tuck vs Panniculectomy

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Thank you  for your pictures.  If you have heart related issues as well as some financial constraints then you might want to consider a panniculectomy.  This will remove just the overhanging abdominal skin to help you cut down on the odor and irritation.  This procedure requires much less time in the operating room. Coordination with your cardiologist is important to make sure that this would be safe for you have done.

Earl Stephenson, Jr, MD, DDS, FACS

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.