Weight loss can improve the health of many individuals, drastic weight loss, particularly when associated with bariatric surgery, can leave behind large amounts of excess skin. The excess skin and fat in the lower stomach area that hangs below the belt line is called the pannus. The extra fold or folds of skin can hinder hygiene and put stress on the back. Often the areas in the pubic region under the pannus can become moist as perspiration is trapped, resulting in rashes, skin ulcers, and odor. In such cases a surgical procedure called a panniculectomy may be appropriate.
A panniculectomy is an invasive surgical procedure that requires an overnight stay in the hospital. Unlike an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) the panniculectomy does not tighten muscle or reposition the belly button. It only removes the excess skin and fat of the pannus from the lower abdomen using a horizontal incision the goes from hip to hip.
Recovery from a panniculectomy is usually *two weeks, with no heavy lifting or strenuous exercise during that time. You may shower, but do not submerge your incision in a bath tub, pool, hot tub or lake. Once your incision is healed you may begin to work back into your exercise routine. Post operative swelling will continue for *several months, but will resolve itself as the body heals.
*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.