TUMMY TUCK vs. PANNICULECTOMY

A pouty tummy may occur as a result of child bearing, weight gain followed by weight loss and, in some instances, as a result of surgery such as C-section. One of the most common goals among patients of the Chesapeake Center for Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery is for tummy tuck to achieve a trimmer shape. How is one to make sense of the terminology? Is a panniculectomy the same thing as a tummy tuck? And how does an abdominoplasty differ from a tummy tuck? Sure, a “nip and tuck” is a common phrase but it doesn’t accurately describe the process for deciding what is one’s ideal approach. Here is a clarification of the most common terms associated with surgical creation of a trimmer tummy:

PANNICULECTOMY- The surgical removal of excess skin and fatty tissue along the lower abdomen. The “panniculus” is the skin overhang that is removed by surgery. There is no sculpting with liposuction nor is there any muscle tightening or hernia repair when panniculectomy is performed. The incision is usually placed in a horizontal manner across the lowest part of the tummy. Recovery is generally brief because there is no muscle tightening component to this operation.

TUMMY TUCK- This term a.k.a. abdominoplasty, refers to an all-inclusive reshaping of the tummy. The loose skin (panniculus) is trimmed away, adjacent collections of fatty tissue are sculpted with liposuction and any degree of tummy muscle laxity is addressed with sutures. The repair of slack muscles is known as plication which means “to fold together”.

During a tummy tuck, your surgeon may repair any coexisting hernias. Recovery requires a short period where one must not participate in any strenuous exercise or perform certain exercises such as sit-ups. It’s best to confer with Dr. Grenga during your tummy tuck consultation so that he is aware of what your household or occupational physical demands are. He’ll be able to estimate the likely duration of “down time” from your regular schedule. You can learn more about tummy tuck by clicking here. To schedule your consultation, call us at 757-673-5900 (toll free 1-877-639-9680) or visit the “contact us” page by clicking here.

Dr. Grenga is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Members of this organization are Board Certified in Plastic Surgery and are dedicated to excellence in the art of plastic surgery. To learn more about tummy tuck on its official website click here.