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Lake Country Plastic & Hand Surgery

Are You a Candidate for a Panniculectomy?

By tmccall on December 13, 2017

Close-up on abdomen after a panniculectomyIf you have lost a significant amount of weight, your skin may not conform to the new shape of your body. Stretched, hanging skin can obscure the results of your weight loss, making you appear untoned. In some cases, damaged tissue can droop so low that it causes discomfort, chafing, and even health risks.

In these cases, Dr. Tracy McCall may recommend a panniculectomy at her Milwaukee, WI area practice. During the panniculectomy procedure, surgeons can tighten stretched skin and muscle below your naval, giving you a figure that corresponds with your healthy new weight.

Of course, before recommending surgery, Dr. McCall will carefully determine your candidacy for the procedure. While your cosmetic goals are certainly an important factor, she will also assess your overall wellness and health history. If she determines that you are a panniculectomy candidate, she may suggest that you combine this procedure with other treatments.

Cosmetic Considerations for a Panniculectomy

A panniculectomy is usually appropriate if you have damaged skin following massive weight loss, such as that which occurs after bariatric surgery. In some cases, the treatment can also be a good option after pregnancy.

A panniculectomy is designed to remove the “apron” of skin, or pannus, that hangs down below the belly button. In some cases, this can be quite noticeable, drooping down over your pubic line and hips.

In addition to affecting your appearance, the pannus can also impact your health. The folds can cause chafing and irritation. You could even develop a skin infection since bacteria can become trapped in the folds of skin. If you struggle with any of these cosmetic or functional issues, you may be a candidate for a panniculectomy.

Overall Health Plays a Significant Role in Determining Your Candidacy

To qualify for treatment, you should be in generally good health. Therefore, Dr. McCall will consider your medical history at your consultation. She uses very conservative techniques and adheres to the highest safety standards. For qualified patients, the treatment involves negligible risks. On the other hand, if you have an autoimmune disease, you may have a higher risk of infection after surgery. Diabetes or a bleeding disorder can also make it difficult for your incisions to heal.

You should be at a healthy and stable weight before undergoing a panniculectomy. Because weight can fluctuate after bariatric surgery, you should not undergo cosmetic surgery for at least six months after your weight loss procedure. Additionally, if you are a woman, you should not receive a panniculectomy if you are planning to become pregnant. The surgery will not affect your ability to bear children, but pregnancy could cause the skin to re-stretch. 

Combining a Panniculectomy with Other Procedures

A panniculectomy can achieve truly dramatic results. Nonetheless, the procedure will address a limited area. Accordingly, Dr. McCall may recommend a combination of treatments to enhance your overall figure. The most common combination is a panniculectomy with a tummy tuck. However, she could also perform a panniculectomy in conjunction with a lower body lift.

Contact Lake Country Plastic and Hand Surgery

With our ultraprecise and safe techniques, most patients will qualify for a panniculectomy. To find out if you are a candidate for this treatment, contact our office today.

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