Panniculectomy vs. Tummy Tuck | What’s The Difference?

Wondering what the difference is between a panniculectomy and a tummy tuck? If you have excess loose skin around your abdominal region you may be looking into both procedures. Although both procedures address sagging skin around the stomach area, they are very different in many ways. Once you understand the difference, it will be easier to decide which is the right fit for you.

What is a Panniculectomy?

Significant weight gain stretches out the skin, causing the tissues in the area to become more excessive and far less elastic. When patients undergo significant weight loss, either through bariatric surgery or lifestyle changes, they will most likely be left with a large amount of sagging, loose skin. Skin and the tissue directly underneath it is not able to be absorbed by the body like fat is when we lose weight. And the skin that remains is often less elastic because of the damage to the elastin and collagen caused by long-term weight stretching it. This causes the need for patients to undergo excess skin removal surgery upon completing their weight loss.

Most of the patients who will require a panniculectomy have lost significant amounts of weight, such as over 100 pounds. It’s also important for patients to be at their goal weight before seeking this type of skin removal procedure. A good rule of thumb is to achieve a BMI of under 30. That’s important because you don’t want to lose more weight and experience further skin loosening. A panniculectomy focuses on the skin of the abdominal region, removing the “apron” of skin that is common for patients who have experienced significant weight loss.

What is the cost of a Panniculectomy?

A panniculectomy is often part of a managed weight loss care plan that is supervised by a doctor. Many times patients who have undergone bariatric surgery require a panniculectomy once they have achieved their goal weight. A panniculectomy can range from $10,000 to $15,000 but the price can be higher depending on the amount of excess skin that needs to be removed along with the area of the country where the surgery is being performed. Typically for patients who have insurance, this loose skin surgery will be covered by insurance.

Is a Tummy Tuck Right for Me?

Tummy tuck results

You may be wondering if you’re a good candidate for a tummy tuck procedure. There are many changes that occur to the body over time. Weight fluctuations and the stretching of pregnancy can cause skin to lose its elasticity. When skin and tissue is stretched in the stomach region, it can cause the muscles to pull away. If you’re bothered by a “pooch” or belly bulge, no matter how much weight you lose, you may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck. These types of bulges, unfortunately, frequently don’t respond to changes in diet and exercise. A tummy tuck that provides excess skin removal can be a solution to this stubborn region. If there is excess fat that you’ve found extremely hard to remove, liposuction can be combined with a tummy tuck to completely smooth the area.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is similar to a panniculectomy in that both procedures focus on the loose skin around the abdominal region. But while a panniculectomy focuses on removing large quantities of excess skin, a tummy tuck is a much more refined surgery that aims to smooth excess skin between the belly button and pubic region and strengthen weak abdominal muscles.

Although weight loss can be a factor in accumulating some excess belly skin, there are other factors that cause moderate amounts of loose skin, including aging and pregnancy. With a tummy tuck procedure, you’ll first be examined to make sure you have enough loose skin. If you do not, a mini tummy tuck procedure may be more appropriate.

A tummy tuck is a surgery that removes excess skin from the stomach area while tightening the abdominal wall. This can help strengthen the core, which can be particularly helpful to women who have had multiple pregnancies. During the procedure, you’ll be given a new belly button which will be cosmetically shaped to be aesthetically appealing. In fact, Dr. Cat goes above and beyond with her tummy tuck technique, giving patients her signature “innie” belly button that looks like a natural belly button.

Since a tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure, Dr. Cat makes certain to focus on the aesthetic details of the procedure, giving you a smooth stomach that takes away the sagging loose skin of the region. Dr. Cat ensures significant planning is given to each patient’s tummy tuck, using her eye for aesthetics to refine the look and give it a smooth, natural feel. Dr. Cat’s renowned tummy tuck technique also emphasizes incision placement. Using a low, thin, and barely visible incision, her gentle technique provides a quick and easy recovery with minimal scarring.

Panniculectomy vs. Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck before and after

As you can see there are significant differences between a panniculectomy and a tummy tuck. A panniculectomy is typically reserved for people who have lost a significant amount of weight, in the area of 100-plus pounds. Here, there’s a high volume of excess skin that can hang over the groin like an apron, causing irritation and discomfort.

A tummy tuck however is much more common for patients with less excess skin. A tummy tuck can help tighten the abdominal wall but is still considered a cosmetic procedure. While a panniculectomy may be covered by insurance a tummy tuck most often is not.

A tummy tuck is a type of loose skin surgery that requires significant experience and precision from the plastic surgeon performing the procedure. Instead of removing large volumes of skin mass from the abdomen, this procedure focuses on refining the abdominal region. An eye for detail and the ability to cosmetically smooth out the abdominal region are required from your plastic surgeon to ensure the most eye-pleasing results. Dr. Cat mentions:

I believe that every little detail and step is important in a tummy tuck – it’s not just removing skin – it’s about creating a natural looking, beautifully contoured abdomen.

By going to a world-renown tummy tuck specialist like Dr. Cat, you can ensure you will have the best possible tummy tuck results.

Dr. Cat performing Tummy Tuck surgeryRefined Tummy Tuck Techniques in Beverly Hills

Dr. Cat provides gentle patient-centered tummy tucks in Beverly Hills that focus on the highest level of artistry and technique to ensure quick recovery, optimal results, and minimal scarring. If you’d like to learn more about a tummy tuck, begin by scheduling a consultation where all of your questions can be answered by her expert team.