Tummy Tuck vs Panniculectomy: Which One is Better?
Are you looking to have a trimmer waistline and attractive abdomen? Diet and exercise may get you most of the way to a perfect waist, but sometimes we are left with excess sagging skin. Two procedures in particular are well suited for loose skin around the stomach: tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and panniculectomy. But what are the differences?
The team at The Landings Surgical Center has helped numerous patients in the Halifax, NS, and Prince Edward Island area who experience excess abdominal skin after weight loss. Let’s review, contrast, and compare tummy tuck and panniculectomy so you understand which procedure may be more ideal for you.
What is a tummy tuck?
Also known as an abdominoplasty, the tummy tuck is a popular cosmetic surgery procedure. It tightens the abdominal wall while also removing excess skin and fat. There are various types of tummy tuck, but generally your surgeon will make an incision from one hip bone to the other, between the belly button and pubic bone.
Next, your abdominal skin is lifted to reveal your abdominal muscles. The surgeon will remove excess fat, and then stitch your abdominal wall together, tightening it. Finally, they will stretch your abdominal skin back over the muscles, trimming excess skin before finally suturing up the incision.
With a tummy tuck, you can have a firmer, flatter abdomen. It can remove loose, sagging skin.
What is a panniculectomy?
A panniculectomy targets the pannus. The pannus consists of excess tissue and skin on the lower abdomen. This can create an unsightly apron of lower abdominal skin. A panniculectomy removes this unwanted draping lower abdominal skin for a trimmer, flatter stomach.
With the patient under general anesthesia, the surgeon makes an incision between both hip bones. For some, their surgeon might also make a vertical cut down to the pubic bone.
Next, excess fat and skin tissue are removed, and the remaining skin is pulled together and stitched together. Note that the surgeon only removed the excess apron of skin; the surgeon will not adjust the abdominal wall as they would during a tummy tuck.
Requirements for Both Surgeries
Both tummy tuck and panniculectomy have the same patient requirements. Neither is intended to promote weight loss, but they are rather performed as a result of significant weight loss. Once you are at your ideal weight, you can begin pursuing cosmetic plastic surgery for your stomach.
Ideally, candidates for surgery are in excellent health and are non-smokers. Smokers have a much harder time healing from surgery. We can assess candidacy for both procedures during the consultation process.
Which one should I get?
As always, discuss this with your doctor to get the best sense of which procedure is right for you. During your visit to our practice, Dr. Richard Bendor-Samuel and Dr. Louis Boileau can help you determine your best options. Some items to consider when selecting your procedure:
- A tummy tuck is classified as an elective surgery, whereas a panniculectomy is considered a medical necessity
- Tummy tucks are less expensive, but insurance does not usually cover them
- A panniculectomy only removes excess skin, while a tummy tuck also tightens your abdominal wall
No matter which you choose, you deserve to look and feel your best. We will work with you to get your stomach as flat and defined as possible.
Join Us for a Consultation
If we have piqued your interest in tummy tuck or panniculectomy, feel free to reach out to our team. Give our Halifax office a call at (902) 492-2007 or send us a message online to schedule an appointment today.