Now that you have lost all of that excess weight after your Bariatric surgery, you’ll want to remove all of the remaining loose skin around your lower abdomen. Your loose skin may hang like an extra fold over the lower stomach area and even extend over your genital area and around your thighs. This happens when the skin has been stretched for long periods of time and is now not able to re-tighten. In addition to a loss of tightness, the excess skin can affect your hygiene with the development of cysts and yeast infections. Living with this excess fold of skin can create back problems and even difficulty when walking.
A Panniculectomy is a major surgery, and this is what you can expect:
Depending on the amount of skin, tissue, and fat to be removed, the surgery will take between 2 to 5 hours to complete. It will be performed as an out-patient procedure, or it may require an overnight stay in the hospital. You will be given a general anesthetic to ensure that you are asleep during the operation and will not feel any pain. The surgeon will make two incisions. One will be horizontal across the lower abdomen and span from hip bone to hip bone in a downward curve. The second cut is made vertically between the sternum and the pubic hair line. After the skin and fat are removed, the openings are closed with sutures. The surgeon may place drainage tubes in the skin to help remove excess fluids.
Your surgeon will instruct you on how to care for your incision after surgery to include sponge bathing and when it’ll be okay to shower, how to clean your drainage tubes and when they will be removed, and how long before you can return to normal daily activities or work. You will need to schedule follow-up appointments with your surgeon to ensure that you are healing properly and to remove those sutures that are not self-dissolving.