A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure performed to rid of the excess skin around the mid section called the pannus. Typically the pannus extends around the abdomen to the back and causes skin irritation amongst other problems.

The pannus is removed by making an incision similar to that of a tummy tuck and extending it around to the back of the body as far as the excess skin occurs. This procedure is performed as an outpatient surgery under general anesthesia. Oftentimes, it is also performed alongside other body lift procedures such as a breast liftbreast reduction or thigh lift.



After massive weight loss, patients often experience excess skin around the midsection which can lead to skin rashes & irritation, discomfort and other problems. This is known as the pannus.

Many patients who have lost weight from lap band surgery, gastric bypass or the natural way, visit Dr. Smiley to discuss their options for correcting this problem.


Both panniculectomy and tummy tuck procedures are similar in nature, in that they both remove excess skin around the mid-section to achieve a flatter abdomen. However, a tummy tuck addresses concerns with muscle laxity (diastasis), while a panniculectomy only addresses the excess skin and tissue of the pannus. Depending on your goals, Dr. Smiley will discuss realistically which procedure is best for you. In some cases massive weight loss patients will first require a panniculectomy, followed by a tummy tuck to tighten the muscles 6 months to a year later.

Panniculectomy covered by insurance

In many cases, panniculectomy surgery is covered by insurance. In order to qualify, insurance companies often require documentation from medical providers relating to weight loss and/or weight loss surgery, irriatation of the skin or other problems that affect everyday life. Most insurance companies also require photos before your procedure in order to authorize the procedure to be performed.

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