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Excess Skin & Fat Removal

A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure performed to provide functional benefits for men and women who have an overhanging area of excess abdominal skin and fat as a result of extreme weight loss and sometimes pregnancy. While often confused with a tummy tuck, the panniculectomy is often performed after weight loss following bariatric surgery, particularly to reduce large areas of skin-on-skin contact and persistent rashes. It may be covered by insurance. Coverage guidelines depend on the health insurer. Our Midsota plastic surgeons are trained in safely reducing large amounts of excess skin and subcutaneous fat through panniculectomy surgery.

Panniculectomy at First Glance


Ages: Age varies; Most common after massive weight loss

Return to Work: 2 weeks

Surgery Time: 2-5 hours

Recovery Time: 2 weeks

Off Restrictions: 4 weeks

Is a panniculectomy for me?

Undergoing bariatric surgery to lose a large amount of weight can provide several health benefits. However, once the fat is lost, patients will often be left with large amounts of excess skin hanging loose around the abdomen. While a tummy tuck is effective in restoring the shape and tone of the midsection following pregnancy and weight loss, a panniculectomy may be covered by health insurance, which is appealing, and is best for patients with a large overhang of excess skin (panniculus) and fat along their lower abdomen. If you are considered a candidate for a lower body lift as well, the two procedures can be advantageously designed together and performed in a single surgical setting.

What are the benefits of a panniculectomy?

Aside from reducing large amounts of excess skin and subcutaneous fat, a panniculectomy also provides the patient with several functional benefits as well. Men and women experiencing skin irritations, skin erosion, or difficulty performing usual activities due to the panniculus can dramatically improve their comfort and quality of life with a panniculectomy (*).

How is a panniculectomy performed?

The details of your panniculectomy procedure will be discussed during your consultation with your Midsota  plastic surgeon.

Your procedure will be performed under general anesthesia. The incision pattern of the panniculectomy is much like that of a tummy tuck, running horizontally from hipbone to hipbone between your belly button and pubic area. Because a panniculectomy is a functional—and not a cosmetic—procedure, it consists of the removal of the panniculus (the overhanging skin and subcutaneous fat), but does not focus on repairing the abdominal muscles or refining the entire midsection as a tummy tuck does. Once the panniculus is removed, your incisions are closed, and dressings and a comfortable compression garment are applied.

How long does panniculectomy surgery take?

Your panniculectomy at Midsota Plastic Surgeons will last between two and four hours. This will depend on the amount of excess skin and fat being removed.

How long is panniculectomy recovery?

The recovery period after your panniculectomy will depend on the individual. A compression garment in the form of an abdominal binder or a shapewear garment of your choosing will need to be worn for about six weeks in order to promote successful healing of the skin.

Most people return to work about two weeks after a panniculectomy. Results may vary by patients , but normally after six weeks, you should begin feeling back to normal and can enjoy full use of your newly-shaped body.

When will I notice the results of my panniculectomy?

The changes in the shape and size of your body will be immediately noticeable following your surgery. However, it will take time for the swelling to go down.

How long will my panniculectomy results last?

It is important to continue healthy diet and exercise habits to maintain the slimmer shape of your body.

Men and women commonly experience several health benefits and a boost in self-confidence following panniculectomy. This procedure is often one of the first surgical body contouring steps chosen in the transformation to a slim body and healthy lifestyle for someone who has lost a great deal of weight (*).  Depending on the assessment of your surgeon, a lower body lift may be performed at the same time as a panniculectomy.  Later, you may choose to proceed with other body contouring surgeries as well such as arm lift, thigh lift or breast lift.

Read Midsota Panniculectomy Reviews

Want to know what past patients are saying about their panniculectomies? Click here to read real reviews from panniculectomy patients at Midsota Plastic Surgeons.


Our goal at Midsota Plastic Surgeons is for you to walk out our doors feeling refreshed and more confident than when you walked in. Our dedicated team of Minnesota plastic surgeons and caring staff put your safety first and will work closely with you on your journey to your new self. For more information on any of our procedures, or to schedule a private consultation, please give us a call at one of our locations in St. Cloud, Alexandria, Brainerd or Minnesota.


“I want to say Thank you to Dr. Heath and the staff at Midsota. Every time I came into the center I was welcomed. Dr. Heath made me feel very comfortable discussing my options for breast reduction. I was kept well informed and felt very safe and secure during the procedure and all of my office visits.”

Rita N.

“The beautiful job Dr. Houle did with my DIEP flap reconstruction surgery was the final chapter in my successful survivor story of breast cancer. Thank you for restoring my feeling like a “whole” woman again.”


“Dr. Yang did an absolutely amazing job on my lower eyelid surgery. I am so completely happy with the results. Thank you is all I can say! Recommending to anyone considering!”

Karen P.