Panniculectomy Surgery

Panniculectomy Surgery after Weight Loss

A panniculectomy procedure helps remove excess folds of skin from the front of your Abdominal area.

When is a panniculectomy medically warranted?

  • Panniculectomy surgery is typically needed after weight loss treatments such as obesity related weight loss surgery (gastric sleeve, balloon or lap band).
  • Panniculectomy surgery may be medically warranted when weight loss after obesity has left an unwanted ‘skin pouch.’
  • Conditions leading to this surgery can vary from patient to patient, but often skin folds lead to postural issues, skin chafing, chronic skin infections, social discomfort and body odours.

Weight loss after obesity can improve many health concerns and disease risks.

But it can also lead to skin health concerns, e.g. skin flaps, chafing, excess sweat, postural concerns or difficulty moving or sitting comfortably.

Fortunately, a Panniculectomy can help you get you more natural-looking body contours back after significant weight changes or bariatric surgery.

However, if you’re looking for repair of bulges or separated abdominal muscles, you may want to explore the full tummy tuck procedure instead.

Download Our Guide to Surgery for Loose, Saggy Folds of Skin (Skin Surgery to Reduce Redundant Tissues)

Skin Reduction Guide Download

Problems after obesity or weight-loss surgery

Excess Skin and Draping Skin Folds (Middle or Lower Abdomen, Breast Area, Back, Thighs, Flanks)

  • One of the primary issues facing people who lose significant amounts of weight, after being obese, is excessively stretched skin or residual fat stores
  • These harm the natural contour of the body and can cause infections, physical irritation or social discomforts
  • If left as is, excess skin folds on the body lead to rashes, recurring infections and other health-compromising skin problems – including noises when walking or exercising
  • There’s also reported discomfort in clothing or an inability to wear certain types of garments

panniculectomy skin apron removal after obesity surgery

Panniculectomy Surgery (Reducing the Abdomen Apron or Skin Folds)

  • Panniculectomy is a surgical procedure that helps remove excess skin
  • It also reduces some of the body fat left behind in the stomach area after major weight changes such as weight loss or post-pregnancy
  • It is part of ‘body lift surgery’ performed by plastic surgeons for people who lost weight through lifestyle changes or Bariatric surgery (Gastric sleeves, balloons or lap bands).

Where the problem of excess skin and fat stores is most common:

  • The most troublesome areas where skin folds and fat accumulate are the lower body
  • But skin redundancy can form in many locations including:
    • back, breasts, bra strap area
    • thighs
    • lower pelvic area
    • pubis mons or groin area

Skin folds may hang over the thighs and pelvic area.

  • In some patients, these skin folds can extend quite low on their bodies
  • It may cover or hang over the genital region, or around hips and backs
  • This can interfere with health and daily activities including walking, standing and sitting
  • Skin infections and chafing irritation can also lead to bad odours / body odours / skin odours

panniculectomy surgery

Without surgery to reduce the redundant folds of skin after weight loss, the excess skin and fat can often result in problems such as:

  • Back or neck pain problems
    • postural impacts
    • imbalanced skin-to-muscle ratios
    • heavier abdominal weight pulling on the body’s frame
  • Skin infections
  • Chafing and rashes, ulcers or abscesses

Without Skin Surgery to reduce these folds, dermal infections and abscesses can become chronically inflamed and deter the person’s health and psychological well-being.

Things to consider with a Panniculectomy Procedure

  • Body Lift Surgeries are increasing in frequency as obesity cures are found and as people find healthier lifestyles and lose weight.
  • A panniculectomy is considered reconstructive surgery in some cases as it helps resolve some physical functional impairment.
  • A panniculectomy only removes skin and fat, it does not repair abdominal muscles or internal structures.


More about Panniculectomy, Related Infections and Surgical Solutions

Panniculectomy (from pannus, the Latin word for a hanging flap of tissue) involves reduction or removal of the panniculus (essentially a skin and fat flap on the lower abdomen, which can also contain tissues/materials from an abdominal hernia).

Panniculitis: Rashes, infections or ulcers that develop in the abdominal area or pelvic folds

  • A panniculectomy is different from a more involved Abdominoplasty or full tummy tuck.
  • A tummy tuck tightens and repairs damaged abdominal muscles as well as removes excess skin and fat from the front of the body.
  • The Panniculectomy is often removal of the flap but not internal muscle repair.

While panniculectomy can be performed on its own, it can also be combined with other abdominal surgery such as a tummy tuck.

Our Specialist Plastic Surgeons for Panniculectomy Surgery include:

  • Dr Geoff Barnett is our Clinic’s expert Plastic Surgeon for post-obesity weight loss patients
  • He and others on our team have expertise in lifting and reducing breast tissues, abdominal area skin folds/aprons, and thigh skin or upper arm skin

If you’re not sure which Specialist Plastic Surgeon to select, a Patient Care Coordinator can help answer your questions and help you decide which particular Surgeon will best suit your physique concerns, communication style, preferred procedures and overall appearance goals.

In addition to our Melbourne specialists, we have several highly-skilled Plastic Surgeons who are available in Sydney.

You can read about our Sydney surgeons on the Sydney Plastic Surgery pages.

Other types of skin reduction for the lower body (body lift Plastic Surgery)

Here are some other potential options:

  • Mini Tummy Tuck – just a small wedge of your tummy skin is tightened
  • Lower Tummy Tuck – your lower tummy skin is tightened and muscles are repaired
  • Upper Tummy Tuck – your upper tummy skin is tightened and muscles are repaired
  • Full Tummy Tuck – Full tightening and flattening of your stomach and complte repair of your underlying stomach muscles
  • Panniculectomy
  • Belt Lipectomy
  • Extended Lipectomy/Extended Abdominoplasty
  • Arm Reduction (Brachioplasty)
  • Skin redundancy removal and liposuction

 NEXT STEPS on your Surgical Journey

Visit our FAQs pages, learn more about your procedure, have a look at our photo galleries and patient reviews.

How to Book your Initial Consultation

  • Email us or Call on (03) 8849 1444 to arrange your surgeon consultation appointment.
  • A Referral from your GP or from your Specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a consultation without a GP Referral
  • Schedule a confidential consultation with your selected Specialist Surgeon by paying the $200 booking fee.

What to Bring to your Surgeon Consultation

  • Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
  • Take lots of notes and read the documents provided thoroughly
  • You may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes

Payment methods and Costs for Pannelectomy

Pannelectomy surgery prices vary according to what you need.

Typically, abdominal area skin reductions range from around $14,000 to $20,000 depending on how extensive the surgery is. Some less extensive procedures may be under $14,000, but these may not suit formerly obese patients with a lot of ‘left over’ skin (stretched skin, skin folds).

Visit our surgery price page for average price ranges of Plastic Surgery and cosmetic surgery costs in Melbourne. 

Visit our payment pages to learn more about your Surgery Payment Methods.


Darren Sachs; Steve S. Bhimji.

Authors: Darren Sachs; Steve S. Bhimji1. Affiliations 1 Un of Toronto Last Update: October 27, 2018.

Page last updated on February 18, 2019. CM