Which is Best for Me, Tummy Tuck or Panniculectomy? (photo)

Here is a link to some of my pictures.. http://www.realself.com/question/tummy-tuck-realisitc-time1 I am 24 years old 5ft 6 and been at a stable weight for several years. Other than being obese i have no medical problems(BP is normal, non smoker, no family history, etc.). I am also done having children. Could you please tell me which would be the best option based on my photos.

Doctor Answers 10

Full abdominoplasty usually best for large apron and stretch marks

You would be best served with a tummy tuck and liposuction.  A full abdominoplasty ("tummy tuck") is sometimes called a panniculectomy - which means basically removal of the big apron of tissue from your midsection.  "Abdominoplasty" implies some additional attention to detail including repair of the muscles and hiding the scar as well as possible, and proper treatment of the belly button.  You have extensive stretch marks.  The ones below your belly button will be removed and those above get moved down.  Liposuction works to further enhance your hourglass figure.  It is particularly helpful in reducing the love handles so you have a more hourglass figure, but I also use liposuction to treat the upper tummy.  If you don't do this, there is still a bulge in the upper tummy after a tummy tuck.  It's a very satsifying procedure and a common one.  Attached are photographs of examples.  Good for you that you are a nonsmoker because that reduces the risk of complications.

Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Tummy Tuck wins over Panniculectomy

You are not a candidate for a panniculectomy since you problem extends well above your belly button.  A panniculectomy removes only the tissue hanging over the pubis and leaves the belly button intact.  If you do not or can not lose weight first, then a full abdominoplasty is the only correct option in my opinion.

Martin O`Toole, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tummy Tuck - Which is Best for Me, Tummy Tuck or Panniculectomy?

If your weight is stable then it's reasonable to consider this surgery.

I generally advise my patients to get down to the lowest weight they can reasonably maintain (both of those issues are important) before undergoing the surgery.  It's not a tiny procedure but it can be incredibly dramatic - as long as you know what it will and won't do, for you in particular (ie, the patient).  You cannot reasonably expect to have a result that can only be achieved by someone who has a very different pre-operative appearance from yours.

So that's the question:  will YOU be happy with the result you're likely to get from this surgery, based on how you look now?  Many people really want to look better than they can, and that's the case particularly when you're heavier than you'd like to be.  If you can lose some more weight (if that's your goal) before the surgery, your result will be that much better.  If not, you may still be very happy with the result you are able to obtain from the surgery.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Panniculectomy versus Tummy Tuck

A Panniculectomy is a functional procedure that removes the excess skin and fat below the belly button and above the pubic region. It is something that may or may not be covered by insurance. It simply removed the lower "roll."

A full tummy tuck is the panniculectomy plus the upper part of the tummy as well.  It is a cosmetic procedure and is typically not something that would be covered by insurance.

If you want improvement in both the upper and lower part of your tummy, then tummy tuck is the way to go.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Tummy tuck or panniculectomy?

Hello! Thank you for your question! I hope that these answers help! A panniculectomy is an excellent method for removing the excess skin and soft tissue of the lower abdomen (abdominal panniculus), often caused by weight loss. It is mainly performed to ameliorate symptoms caused by the abdominal apron such as hygiene issues, excoriations, rashes/infections, back pain, etc. A panniculectomy gives almost immediate relief from these issues as well as has been shown to stimulate additional weight loss as your activity level is increased after removal of the panniculus. An abdominoplasty is more of an aesthetic procedure in that as opposed to simply excising this excess tissue in a wedge to relieve complaints, an abdominoplasty focuses more on abdominal contouring, abdominal wall tightening, re-insetting the belly button, as well as often times the addition of liposuction.

I believe you would be better served by a full tummy tuck, in order to address your abdominal wall laxity as well as contouring of your flanks/hips, and upper abdomen.  I would highly recommend continued diet and exercise prior to any consideration for a panniculectomy or body contouring as getting down to your ideal weight prior to the procedure will certainly give you the best results as well as be the safest for you. Neither one is a weight loss procedure. Also, a continued healthy and active lifestyle will be needed in order to maintain the benefits that the procedure has given to you. You should consult with a plastic surgeon at anytime to go over options and in order to assist you in deciding which procedure(s) would be right one for you.  Best wishes for a wonderful result!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Addting a Tummy Tuck to Panniculectomy looks best for most

The simple answer is in most cases you would look a lot better with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)/panniculectomy combination plus liposuction .

A panniculectomy usually entalls the simple removal of the excess apron skin that hangs down without undermining or "pulling the skin" down. That is the difference (plus tightnening muscles when indicated0 with a Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty and a panniculectomy). A panniculectomy is generally done to treat a medical condition or physical limitation (e.g. recurrent infections)

Panniculectomy refers to simple excision, removal, of the roll, pannus, of redundant soft tissue in the lower abdomen which falls onto the thigh. Occasionally this procedure is covered by insurance if there is a documented recurrent or chronic infection and rash requiring medical treatment. It does not involve improvement to the mid or upper abdomen or tightening to the abdominal muscles, but can be done in conjunction with anAbdominoplasty which will accomplish these goals.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Tummy tuck or panniculectomy

I think you would benefit most from a full tummy tuck which would allow your abdominal/core muscles to be tightened in addition to having the excess tissue removed in your tummy area. Good luck!

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tummy Tuck?

 Thank you for the question and pictures.

You will be much better off with a full tummy tuck procedure.Tthis would be done ideally when you are as close to a long-term stable weight as possible.

You should also be aware of the option for “extended” tummy tuck procedure  to treat the flanks and lower back areas ("muffin tops”).  This extended tummy tuck procedure involves flank and back skin and adipose tissue excision as well as liposuction surgery. If liposuction alone is done the patient may still end up with the muffin top and require further surgery to improve the waistline in the future.

Make sure you're working with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Tummy Tuck or Panniculectomy? (photo)

The previous expert posters have answered your question very well. I would use the term full tummy tuck for you with muscle repair. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Tummy Tuck

I think, by the nature of your question, that you understand the difference between the two procedures so I won't go into that. From your photographs, if you were my patient I would encourage you to lose weight to your desired goal first. Having said that, if you have given weight loss your best shot and it's just not working, I think the full abdominoplasty will make you a great deal happier than just the panniculectomy. I have had many patients over the years go through operations like tummy tucks and breast reductions and be so happy with their new physiques, that they proceed to exercise more and eat better and continue to improve their shape beyond what the surgery did for them.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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.