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Panniculectomy / Tummy Tuck After Massive Weight Loss

Have you recently lost a lot of weight and are struggling with that stubborn excess skin? You may be a good candidate for a panniculectomy or tummy tuck. Excess skin is caused when you lose a lot of weight in a rather short period of time. This is most seen in weight loss surgery patients. When you lose weight more gradually, it is easier for the skin’s natural elasticity to work to keep your skin tight after weight loss.

Woman in swimsuit splashes in waves with toned curves after major weight loss and excess skin removal. KDS Aesthetics Logo at bottom left.

What is the difference?

You may ask, “What is the difference between a panniculectomy and tummy tuck?” Good question! After massive weight loss, the flap of skin that hangs down past your lower abdomen is known as a ‘pannus’. A panniculectomy is a procedure that removes the pannus. A tummy tuck is often confused with a panniculectomy because it can have similar results on a similar area of the body. However, a tummy tuck works to tighten the muscles of the abdomen while also removing excess skin.

What are the procedures like?

Similar lower incisions are made for both panniculectomy and tummy tucks. The surgeon will make a horizontal incision along the bottom of the abdomen. After the incision, the excess skin will be removed and, for the tummy tuck, weakened muscles will be repaired in the abdomen. Usually, more skin is removed for a tummy tuck compared to a panniculectomy.  For a tummy tuck, a new opening in the tightened abdominal skin will be created for the belly button. The remaining skin is pulled down and tightened to contour the abdomen and the incision is closed with sutures, skin adhesives, or clips.


Recovery varies depending on which procedure you get and the size of the incisions. Following a tummy tuck and panniculectomy, you will be wrapped with dressings to protect the incision site. There might be small tubes near the incision to drain any excess fluids. You will be instructed to not work for 4-6 weeks and rest – including not lifting anything of heavy weight, no strenuous exercising, etc. You will be given specific instructions from your plastic surgeon.

The Bottom Line

A tummy tuck or panniculectomy are surgeries designated to remove unwanted excess skin following extreme weight loss. You should always maintain a healthy weight and participate in regular exercise before undergoing these procedures. If you think that you could be a candidate for cosmetic surgery, contact us today. KDS has years of experience with successful cosmetic procedures, making sure you lead the happiest and healthiest life possible.

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