American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals


Body Contouring

The goal of panniculectomy surgery is to remove hanging skin and fat from the lower abdomen to create a smoother abdominal contour.

What are the steps of a panniculectomy procedure?

The panniculectomy procedure includes the following steps:

Step 1 – Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – The incision

A panniculectomy requires a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and belly button. The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin. In some instances, a vertical midline incision is necessary in individuals who have excess skin and tissue in the transverse dimension. An incision is also typically made around the navel, although in certain cases the navel may have to be sacrificed. The remaining upper abdominal skin is pulled down like a window shade. The excess skin is trimmed and the remaining skin is sutured together. The belly button stem is then repositioned and carefully drawn through the new abdominal opening, then sutured into its revised position?

Step 3 – Closing the incisions

Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips close the skin incisions.

Step 4 – See the results

Your panniculectomy will result in a flatter, improved abdominal contour.


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