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Tummy Tuck vs Panniculectomy

I get many patients who ask me about Insurance Covered Panniculectomy. It is natural to explore procedures that are covered by insurance to assist with cost, but I feel many patients are mislead to undergo Panniculectomy procedures for cost savings only to later find out it did not offer them the results they wanted. During a standard Panniculectomy, the hanging lower abdominal skin is simply removed and no real shaping occurs.

Panniculectomy is a medical procedure that assists patients who get severe rashes under the skin flap (for example, I had a Type 1 Diabetic patient who would be hospitalized due to severe infections from these rashes who underwent a Panniculectomy) or those that have significant weight from the skin flap. The procedure itself simply removed that lower skin, creating a scar in the lower abdomen, It does not provide many of the technique that will create a good cosmetic result in most cases.

With a Panniculectomy, unlike an Abdominoplasty/Tummy Tuck, there is no liposuction for contouring, no significant shaping of the skin, no plication and repair of the rectus (6 pack) muscles, no reshaping of the belly button, and no significant contouring of the love handles/flanks.

Pictured here is a patient who has undergone a previous Panniculectomy, and you can clearly see she did not have optimal contouring on the left picture. The right sided photo shows her after a revision Tummy Tuck where she has significant improvement in cosmetic shape and contour. She was MUCH happier with her result from a Tummy Tuck vs her original Panniculectomy, and in the long run, spent much more and had significantly more surgery trying to save money with a Panniculectomy.

Here are some additional images of her and another patient who had both undergone previous Panniculectomy Surgeries. The left images show them AFTER Panniculectomy (performed by other physicians in these cases) and Before the Tummy Tuck Surgery I performed, and the right image shows them 6 weeks after Tummy Tuck Surgery:

Bottom Line: Panniculectomy is a legitimate medical procedure that has helped a lot of people, but it done to assist with severe rashes or significant weight of the lower abdominal skin. It will not offer most people an optimal cosmetic result compared to an Abdominoplasty.

I hope this helped!

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