Pannus is the clinical term for the excess skin and adipose tissue that can droop over the thighs and genitals, and a panniculectomy is the plastic surgery treatment to remove pannus.

The panniculectomy procedure offers a number of practical benefits. The excess tissue can make genital hygiene difficult, and it can also cause skin irritation and impair movement. The plastic surgeons at Precision Medical Arts can help you understand if a panniculectomy is right for you.

Causes and Effects of Pannus

Pannus can develop in those who are obese, and it is often a side-effect of drastic weight loss. The onset may be progressive in those who are overweight or who are losing weight with dietary and exercise changes, or immediate in those who undergo bariatric surgery.

The pannus may be a single fold or multiple folds of loose skin. Depending on the amount of excess tissue and the depth of sagging, pannus can limit one’s ability to maintain hygiene; moisture can become trapped and contribute to irritation, rashes and skin ulcers.

The position and weight of the extra skin can strain the back, and make both standing and movement feel uncomfortable. It can also make your clothing feel awkward and ill-fitting.

Panniculectomy Candidacy and Expectations

Ideal panniculectomy candidates are nonsmokers who are in relatively good health and have maintained a stable weight range for about six months or so. You should not plan to bear children or lose substantial weight following a panniculectomy.

It’s important to have realistic expectations about what the procedure will accomplish. A panniculectomy is not a weight-loss treatment or a substitution for exercise and a healthy diet, both of which are important to maintain the effects of the surgery.

The Panniculectomy Procedure

A panniculectomy shares some similarities with an abdominoplasty, although a panniculectomy does not involve tightening the abdominal muscles or repositioning the belly button.

The surgery most often uses two incisions, one that extends between the hips and another from just below the sternum to the pubis. The hanging skin and excess fat are removed, and the remaining skin is stretched taut and closed.

Recovery times and expectations vary based on the specifics of each procedure, but sutures are typically removed within a week or two following surgery, and most patients are able to resume work and other routine activities within a couple weeks. Your surgeon will monitor your recovery and gradually clear you for increased activity.

Panniculectomy Alternatives

Some patients who have loose, sagging skin at the base of the abdomen may achieve the desired results with a less-invasive procedure.

If the amount of skin and fat is not prohibitive, liposuction may be an option. Others may benefit from an abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, which also tightens the vertical abdominal muscles. During your consultation, your plastic surgeon will discuss other possibilities and make a recommendation based on your unique needs.

Please contact Precision Medical Arts today to schedule your personal consultation at one of our Long Island locations.