Tummy Tuck vs. Panniculectomy: What’s the Difference?

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons Serving Denver & Lone Tree, Colorado

Posted: February 3, 2022

Woman showing off her flat stomach after weight lossThere are many different procedures to get rid of excess skin on the body. Panniculectomies and tummy tucks are both used to remove stubborn hanging skin around the lower belly area. While these two options may sound similar, there are a few key factors that set them apart.

A panniculectomy is often considered a medical necessity because it helps correct issues like back pain and skin rashes that can afflict people after significant weight loss. Meanwhile, a tummy tuck is generally an elective procedure that’s done for cosmetic reasons.

Here’s how the two procedures compare in terms of:

  • Candidates: A panniculectomy is best for people with health issues due to a loose apron of skin around their midsection after weight loss. On the other hand, a tummy tuck is ideal for virtually anyone who has gone through weight loss, pregnancy, aging, or other changes that affect the look and strength of the abdominal area. 
     
  • Cost: Insurance will typically cover a panniculectomy when deemed medically necessary, but coverage for an elective tummy tuck is rare. Fortunately, this body contouring procedure is eligible for a variety of flexible financing plans.
     
  • Results: Panniculectomy patients can expect to have a flatter stomach after their loose skin has been removed. Meanwhile, a tummy tuck takes things further, removing excess skin and fat while tightening the six-pack muscles to achieve a slimmer figure. It can also offer benefits such as reducing back pain and improving stress urinary incontinence. 

Can You Get a Tummy Tuck Without Muscle Repair?

Muscle repair can be very beneficial for women after pregnancy. However, if your abdominal muscles are not stretched or separated, then it’s not necessary to include this step in your tummy tuck procedure. You can still correct a small belly pooch and some excess skin.

A tummy tuck without muscle repair is called a mini tummy tuck. It targets the area below the belly button instead of the entire abdomen. It can be a great match for the right candidates.

Schedule a Complimentary Cosmetic Consultation in Lone Tree

Are you interested in learning if a tummy tuck can achieve your body goals? Schedule a complimentary cosmetic consultation at 303-706-1100 to meet with our board-certified plastic surgeons. Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery serves Denver, Lone Tree, and nearby areas of Colorado.