The raw facts.

After losing weight, extra skin around the lower stomach can be removed with panniculectomies and tummy tucks.

While a tummy tuck is an elective treatment performed for cosmetic purposes, a panniculectomy is seen as a medical necessity following a large amount of weight loss.


Both procedures frequently have the adverse effects of discomfort and numbness.

Rare consequences include infection, severe pain and numbness, and bleeding. Scarring is also probable, but it will decrease over the course of many months.


Both operations fall into the category of invasive surgeries that demand extensive pre-and post-operative care.

It’s crucial to locate a surgeon who has completed each treatment many times and is board certified.


Although a panniculectomy costs more than a stomach tuck, medical insurance frequently pays for it. In addition to anesthesia and other frills, the price might range from $8,000 to $15,000.

Although a belly tuck is less expensive, insurance does not pay for it. The average cost of this elective treatment is $6,200.


The success rates of panniculectomies and tummy tucks are comparable. The goal is to make sure you reduce weight prior to surgery because maintaining your weight is essential for keeping up with your treatment.



There are two surgical procedures, panniculectomy and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), that are designed to remove extra lower abdominal skin.

Both of them may be used when there has been a significant loss of weight due to medical or natural factors.

✅ While stomach tucks also contour your muscles and waistline, the primary purpose of a panniculectomy is to eliminate hanging skin. It is also feasible to do both treatments simultaneously.

✅ Both operations have the same objective, which is to get rid of extra stomach skin.

✅ To attain the outcomes you want, it’s vital to understand the main distinctions between the two.


What’s the difference between tummy tucks and panniculectomy?

Tummy tucks and panniculectomies both target the lower abdominal skin. The operations are intended to remove loose, hanging skin, which frequently develops following significant weight loss. This might be the result of procedures like a gastric bypass, weight loss that occurs naturally, or even pregnancy.


A panniculectomy involves invasive surgery. It is most beneficial for those who have just undergone weight loss surgery and have a significant amount of lower belly skin that is hanging loosely.

If the remaining skin impairs your quality of life, surgery of this kind can be deemed necessary. For instance, the skin beneath the area of hanging skin may become infected, cause rashes, or even cause ulcers.

Your surgeon will make two cuts into the abdominal wall during a panniculectomy to remove extra skin in the middle. The skin is then sutured back together at the bottom and top.

Tummy tuck

Excess skin is also expected to be removed during a belly tuck. The main distinction is that, unlike a panniculectomy, this invasive operation is typically chosen for aesthetic purposes.

In some instances, a belly tuck might help relieve back pain and incontinence.

Your doctor will perform a stomach tuck to remove extra skin and tighten the abdominal muscles. Even if the procedure itself won’t give you six-pack abs, it will make it simpler for you to later develop abdominal muscles through exercising on your own.


How much time does each operation require?

These kinds of operations require time. In addition to the actual surgery time, you should plan to arrive early at the hospital for pre-operative care. While your doctor keeps an eye on your early recuperation, you’ll also need to remain in postoperative care.

Timeline for panniculectomy

A panniculectomy is performed by a surgeon in between two and five hours. The length of the incisions and the amount of extra skin being removed will determine the precise time frame.

Timeline for tummy tucks

It could take two to four hours to complete a belly tuck. Your surgeon may still need to sculpt the abdominal wall during a tummy tuck even if the skin cutting may be less extensive than during a panniculectomy.


Comparative outcomes

The success rates of panniculectomy and stomach tuck are comparable. To get the best outcomes, it’s important to continue living a healthy lifestyle after the treatment.

Panniculectomy results

The recovery from a panniculectomy after significant weight reduction may take some time, but the results are thought to be permanent. You shouldn’t require any additional procedures if you keep your weight under control.

Following a tummy tuck

If you keep a healthy weight, the results of a belly tuck are also regarded as permanent. Your doctor might advise you to drop weight or keep it constant before to the surgery to improve your chances of getting long-lasting effects.

Who would make a good candidate?

One procedure might be a better fit for you than another. Both panniculectomies and stomach tucks are only recommended for adults, non-pregnant women, non-smokers, and people with stable body weights.

Although both procedures aim to reduce excess lower belly skin, it’s vital to keep in mind that they aren’t meant to help you lose weight.

Candidates for panniculectomy

If any of the following apply to you: • you recently underwent gastric bypass or other bariatric weight loss surgery; • you are having hygiene problems as a result of excess skin hanging below the pubic region; • you frequently get ulcers, infections, and other problems under the hanging skin; • you have loose belly skin that you want to have removed;

Candidates for tummy tucks

You may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck if you meet the following criteria: • have talked to your surgeon and they want to perform this procedure after a panniculectomy; • are in general good health and are at a healthy weight; • are trying to get rid of “belly pooch” from a recent pregnancy; • have trouble getting rid of excess skin around the abdomen despite diet and exercise.


Cost comparisons

Panniculectomies and stomach tucks can have a wide range in price, especially when insurance is taken into account. Total estimated costs are listed below. Before having the chosen treatment, you should ask your doctor for a breakdown of all the costs. A payment plan option could be offered by some facilities.

Panniculectomy prices

The out-of-pocket cost of a panniculectomy ranges from $8,000 to $15,000. Other connected expenses like anesthesia and hospital care could not be included in this. A large number of health insurance providers will partially fund this operation. This is particularly true if your doctor feels that the panniculectomy is a necessary medical procedure. Call your insurance provider in advance to find out what they will cover and whether you need to work with a particular surgeon.

The expense of taking time off work is another factor. This surgery has an eight-week recovery period.


The price of a stomach tuck

Despite being the less expensive of the two surgeries, a tummy tuck is typically not covered by health insurance. This implies that you might wind up paying $6,200 out of pocket in total, not including any additional medical service costs.

Similar to a panniculectomy, a belly tuck requires time away from work or school. You’ll heal faster from this operation because it isn’t as involved. It often takes four to six weeks to recuperate. Depending on the number and size of the incisions, a longer or shorter recuperation period may be required.


Are there any side effects?

Both the panniculectomy and the stomach tuck include the potential for immediate discomfort as well as long-term complications. While some of these side effects are frequent, others are more uncommon and call for additional medical care.

Effects of a panniculectomy

For the first several days following surgery, pain is usual. Additionally, your skin may be numb, and the numbness may persist for a few weeks. The two skin patches were sutured together after the extra skin in between them was removed during surgery, which is what caused the numbness.

Another potential side effect that might be reduced by the placement of drains in the stomach following surgery is fluid retention. Additionally, the healing process can prevent you from standing up straight for a week or two. Rare side effects like the ones listed below may necessitate immediate medical attention:

  • infection
  • chest pain
  • profuse bleeding
  • palpitations in the heart
  • Excessive breathing

Effects of a tummy tuck

A belly tuck’s immediate side effects include discomfort, bruising, and numbness. A few weeks later, you can have a little numbness and soreness. Deep vein thrombosis, severe bleeding, infections, and anesthetic difficulties are a few uncommon yet serious adverse effects.


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