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Panniculectomy vs tummy tuck

Anyone who has undergone bariatric surgery understands the extra baggage that comes with it - the panniculus or the loose hanging skin! The journey to significant weight loss often leaves individuals with more than just physical changes; it can also leave behind excess skin that hangs from the abdomen, thighs, and even the genital area.

This surplus skin can become a hindrance, interfering with routine tasks like sitting and walking. Fortunately, procedures like tummy tuck and panniculectomy offer solutions to address these challenges, providing a path towards achieving a more contoured and comfortable body.

Discover the Cost of Skin Removal Surgery and Explore Affordable Payment Options

In this comprehensive blog, we explore the differences between tummy tuck and panniculectomy, exploring their purposes, recovery times, aesthetic outcomes, and associated risks. From understanding the coverage options and costs to determining qualifications and exploring alternative procedures, we aim to provide all the necessary information to empower individuals to make the right choice.

What Is Panniculectomy?

The surgical procedure to remove the pannus - the excessive skin left hanging after a weight loss surgery is called panniculectomy.

Panniculectomy vs Tummy Tuck: Making the Right Choice

In the quest for a more sculpted body, individuals often consider surgical options like panniculectomy and tummy tuck. Both procedures offer transformative results, but understanding their nuances is crucial in making the right decision for your body. Panniculectomy focuses on removing excess skin, particularly the overhanging belly, while a tummy tuck targets both excess skin and fat, accompanied by muscle tightening for a toned appearance. Let's explore the differences between panniculectomy and tummy tuck to help you make the right choice for your body transformation.

PanniculectomyTummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty
Avg. Cost$9,000 - $14,000$15,000 - $20,000
PurposeIt targets the removal of the panniculus - the overhanging belly, from the lower abdomen.It focuses on removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen while tightening the abdominal muscles for a more toned appearance.
CoverageOften performed for medical reasons to relieve symptoms caused by excess skin. Insurance may cover it.Often considered a cosmetic procedure and may not be covered by insurance unless there are underlying medical issues.
Recovery TimePanniculectomy has a shorter recovery time since it primarily involves removing excess skin without extensive muscle tightening work. Requires a longer recovery period due to the extent of the surgery and the involvement of muscle tightening.
Aesthetic OutcomeIt might not offer the identical degree of abdominal contouring or waistline refinement as a tummy tuck.This leads to a flatter and more sculpted abdomen, resulting in an improved waistline.
Incision LengthRequires shorter incisions limited to the lower abdomen to remove the pannus, resulting in minimum scarring.Requires longer cuts because it might go beyond the lower belly to deal with extra skin and fat around the waist and hips.
Post-Surgery Weight LossAlthough it eliminates hanging skin and fat, it doesn't directly lead to weight loss beyond removing extra tissue.Some patients may experience additional weight loss due to the removal of excess skin and fat.
Surgical RisksSince it removes skin and fat without manipulating muscles, it has fewer surgical risks than a tummy tuck.Muscle tightening may carry additional risks, including post-operative pain and delayed recovery.

Who Qualifies for a Panniculectomy?

You might qualify for panniculectomy if you experience:

➡️Overhanging skin interfering with daily activities

➡️ Rashes, ulcers, or infections under the excess skin

➡️ Stable weight over the last six months

Panniculectomy Surgery Before and After - Witness the Transformation

View the before and after images of individuals who underwent panniculectomy to remove excess abdominal skin.

Panniculectomy Recovery: What to Expect

Gauze and bandages will cover the incisions, while a compression garment will reduce swelling and provide abdominal support. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions following your surgery, like, caring for the incision area, medications to be taken, dietary guidance, and follow-up.

3 Essential Stages of Panniculectomy Procedure

Stage 1: Pre-op - Administering Anesthesia
Stage 2: Panniculectomy Surgery - Making Incisions
Stage 3: Recovery - Supporting Patient for Best Results

Let’s learn about each of these stages in detail.

Stage 1: Pre-op

During a panniculectomy, anesthesia is given to make sure the patient is asleep and doesn't feel any pain during the surgery. The anesthesia can be given through intravenous (IV) medications or breathed in as a gas. The type and amount of anesthesia used are chosen based on the patient's needs and to keep them safe and comfortable.

Stage 2: Panniculectomy Surgery

The surgical procedure involves the surgeon making a horizontal incision spanning from one hipbone to the other. This incision allows for the removal of surplus fat and skin as necessary. The length of the incisions varies depending on the amount of skin requiring removal. The skin is closed with stitches and the area is covered with bandages.

Stage 3: Panniculectomy Recovery Time

You’ll be in the hospital for 2-4 days depending on the complexity of your surgery. Initially, it may be difficult for you to stand upright but in the next 24 hrs, you’ll be able to do so.

Post-operative Instructions:

  • It is normal to experience pain in the incision area. Your surgeon will prescribe some painkillers to wean off pain.
  • Avoid strenuous activity for up to 4 weeks post-op.
  • Pat dry your incision area and refrain from scrubbing.
  • Avoid applying lotions or powders to the incisions unless instructed otherwise.
  • Refrain from bathing in a tub or swimming pool until the incisions have fully healed.

Panniculectomy Results

Although it may take several months for the panniculectomy scars to fade, the outcomes will be visible within one year of the surgery. Meanwhile, here’s what you can expect:

  • You may experience light swelling accompanied by some pain. All of which will go away in the coming days.
  • As compared to the second or third day of the surgery, now you should be comfortable moving around.
  • You may still be wearing a support to help the belly heal.
  • A flatter stomach with no belly overhang.
  • You may return to work in about 6 weeks.
  • You may be scheduled for a follow-up appointment with your doctor, who will examine and ensure everything goes well.

5 Best Alternatives to Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty

A tummy tuck is the best option to say goodbye to stubborn fat and excess belly overhang. But, not everybody is prepared to deal with the fatigue, scarring, and the recovery process that comes along.
Before deciding on a tummy tuck after weight loss, it's crucial to explore alternative options available. Let’s look into some of the minimally invasive alternatives to traditional abdominoplasty.

1. ThermiTight

It is a non-surgical tummy tuck techniques that heat the skin to target deeper tissues, resulting in tightened loose skin on the body.

2. EmSculpt

Uses a special device to trigger muscle contractions, simulating up to 20,000 ab exercises in a single session. It's like a workout for your abs without the effort, leading to firmer and flatter abs.

3. CoolSculpting

Tummy tightening with CoolSculpt is achieved by applying intense cold to freeze and destroy fat cells in targeted areas.

4. Renuvion

Small incisions are made and radiofrequency waves are converted to plasma gas to tighten the loose skin.

5. Liposuction

By suctioning out fat from the abdomen, liposuction reshapes and contours it, offering a surgical option for fat removal and body sculpting.

Panniculectomy Cost

Panniculectomy surgery typically ranges from $9,000 to $14,000. This estimate does not include the facility cost, anesthesia, or surgeon fee. For all-inclusive charges, you must consult your surgeon. The costs may differ state-wise as well.

Does Insurance Cover a Panniculectomy Procedure?

If a panniculectomy is necessary for medical reasons such as back pain, dermatitis, or infection caused by excess skin, your health insurance may cover it. However, if the surgery is purely cosmetic, insurance is unlikely to cover the costs. In such instances, you might consider alternative financing options like Denefits.

Denefits Financing for Panniculectomy

Denefits stands as your trusted ally in financing your panniculectomy procedure. What sets Denefits apart is its provision of flexible payment plans, enabling you to cover the costs of your surgery through flexible payment options. Should your insurance fail to cover the expenses, Denefits serves as a viable alternative solution.

The platform helps offer a wide range of payment plans with terms suited to meet unique business needs. It provides customers the option to select plans with an interest-free period of 12 months, meaning more flexibility for customers who seek that extra time.

Outlined below are the key advantages of utilizing Denefits:

  • High approval rate of 95%
  • Elimination of credit checks
  • Instant approval process
  • Accounts receivable service to help enterprises in payment recovery
  • Pre-approval from integration with websites


In conclusion, panniculectomy surgery offers transformative results, helping individuals shed excess skin and discomfort while boosting their self-confidence. With a shorter recovery time compared to a tummy tuck, it's a positive step toward a healthier life.

For those considering panniculectomy and seeking financial assistance, Denefits provides a reliable solution. With flexible payment plans and a high approval rate, Denefits ensures that the costs of surgery are manageable and accessible.
Take the next step towards your transformation with Denefits, making your panniculectomy journey smoother and more affordable.


1. How Long Does it Take to Recover from a Panniculectomy?

Depending on the incision and healing, it may take up to 4 weeks to recover from a panniculectomy.

2. How Painful Is a Panniculectomy?

You will experience pain and numbness in and around the incision area. With painkillers and antibiotics, it can be managed.

3. How Much Should I Walk After Panniculectomy?

In week one, you may have to walk with your hips bent due to the pressure on your abdomen. By the end of week two, you should be able to walk straight up, walking 5-10 minutes twice daily.

4. Is Panniculectomy a High-Risk Surgery?

Panniculectomy is a major surgery. It may be considered high-risk surgery if patients have associated comorbidities.

5. Can I Go Back to Work Four Weeks After Surgery?

Yes, for many individuals, returning to light desk jobs after four weeks is feasible. However, it's important to refrain from heavy lifting and strenuous physical activities.

6. Is it Normal to Still Feel Pain Three Weeks After the Surgery?

Yes, it's common to still feel some discomfort, but it should be a lot less than during the first week. You should be able to manage any pain with medication.

7. Should I Still Wear the Compression Garment Four Weeks Into Surgery?

Yes, continue wearing it as your doctor recommends. It helps to reduce swelling and supports your healing process.

8. Can I Start Exercising Three Weeks After a Tummy Tuck?

It is recommended to go for light walks but consult your doctor before gyming or rigorous workouts.

9. Why Is My Stomach Still Swollen Three Weeks After the Panniculectomy

It is common to experience swelling till six weeks and it will gradually decrease over time.

10. Can I Lose Hanging Belly Fat Without Surgery?

ThermiTight, EmSculpt, and Renuvion are some options to lose belly overhang without surgery.

11. Are Panniculectomy and Tummy Tuck the Same?

Although performed on the same region, the abdomen, they are different procedures. A tummy tuck is a more extensive procedure requiring extensive muscle tightening.

Don't Let Cost Hold You Back! Explore Financing Options for Your Panniculectomy or Tummy Tuck Surgery