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Panniculectomy Surgery in Newport Beach, CA

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Overview of Having Panniculectomy Surgery in Newport Beach

Panniculectomy surgery addresses the removal of excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen. This procedure is often pursued for both health and aesthetic reasons.

What Is a Panniculectomy?

A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure designed to remove a panniculus, or an “apron” of excess skin and fat, hanging from the lower abdomen.

Patients who have experienced significant weight loss often choose this surgery to eliminate this overhang. Unlike a tummy tuck, a panniculectomy focuses solely on removing the skin and fat without tightening the abdominal muscles. The procedure can help reduce issues like skin infections, rashes, and mobility problems that may arise from the excess skin.

Why Have Panniculectomy Surgery Done in Newport Beach?

Newport Beach, CA, is known for its advanced medical facilities and experienced surgeons specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.

Unlike a tummy tuck surgery, having panniculectomy surgery here ensures access to top-notch medical care, state-of-the-art equipment, and personalized treatment plans tailored to individual needs. Surgeons in this area often have extensive experience, reducing the risk of complications and improving surgical outcomes. Moreover, the recovery environment in Newport Beach provides a serene and conducive setting for post-operative healing.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Panniculectomy Surgery?

Candidates to undergo panniculectomy surgery typically include individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight and are left with excess skin around the lower abdomen.

These patients often experience discomfort, skin irritation, and mobility restrictions. Good health overall is essential for surgical candidates to minimize risks and complications during and after the procedure. Non-smokers and those without chronic conditions that impair healing are considered ideal candidates. It is also important for potential patients to have realistic expectations and to understand that while the surgery removes excess skin and fat, it is not a weight loss solution.

Choosing a Panniculectomy Surgeon in Newport Beach

Selecting the right plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, California (CA) is critical to ensuring a successful outcome and minimizing risks. Key considerations include the surgeon’s credentials, experience, and board certification status.

How Do I Choose a Plastic Surgeon for Panniculectomy Surgery in Newport Beach?

To choose the right plastic surgeon, start by verifying their board certification. A board-certified surgeon has completed rigorous training and met specific standards. Choose a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This certification ensures the surgeon has the necessary expertise in abdominal plastic surgery.

Experience is another crucial factor. Look for a surgeon with extensive experience in panniculectomy surgery. Ask about the number of procedures they have performed and request before-and-after photos of previous patients. This gives you a sense of their skill and the results you can expect.

Additionally, consider the surgeon’s affiliations and memberships. Membership in reputable organizations like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) indicates they adhere to high ethical and professional standards. Lastly, read reviews and seek recommendations from previous patients to understand their experiences and satisfaction levels.

Consultation Process

A thorough consultation process is essential for a successful panniculectomy. Preparing the right questions and knowing what to expect can significantly enhance the experience.

What Questions Should I Ask My Plastic Surgeon About Panniculectomy Surgery?

When discussing panniculectomy with a plastic surgeon, it’s important to ask specific questions to fully understand the surgery and its implications. Effective questions include:

  1. What qualifications and certifications do you hold?
  2. How many panniculectomy surgeries have you performed?
  3. What are the potential risks and complications associated with this procedure?
  4. How should I prepare for the surgery?
  5. What will my recovery process involve, and how long will it take?

These questions help gauge the surgeon’s expertise and provide clarity on the procedure, setting realistic expectations.

What Should I Expect During A Consultation for Panniculectomy Surgery?

During the consultation, the surgeon will assess your overall health and medical history. They will inquire about your lifestyle, past surgeries, and specific goals for the panniculectomy.

By the end of the consultation, the surgeon should answer all your questions, ensuring you feel comfortable and informed about the upcoming surgery.

Understanding the Panniculectomy Procedure

Panniculectomy surgery is designed to remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen. This procedure serves medical and functional purposes, often for those experiencing significant weight loss.

What Medical Terms Should I Know About Panniculectomy Surgery?

Understanding specific medical terms helps in grasping the full scope of a panniculectomy. Pannus refers to the overhanging apron of skin and fat commonly seen after substantial weight loss.

General anesthesia is used to ensure the patient is unconscious during the procedure. An incision is a surgical cut made to access the underlying tissue.

Scarring can occur as the body heals post-surgery, and recovery involves the healing process following the procedure.

What Types of Panniculectomy Surgeries are There?

Panniculectomy can be performed in several ways. A horizontal panniculectomy involves a horizontal incision between the pubic area and the belly button to remove hanging skin.

In some cases, a vertical panniculectomy may be needed, requiring an additional vertical incision down the midline of the abdomen. The type of incision and the exact approach depend on the amount and location of excess skin and tissue. A consultation with a surgeon, such as those performed in body contouring procedures, can help determine the best type for each individual.

What are the Surgical Steps of a Panniculectomy Procedure?

The surgical steps of a panniculectomy begin with administering general anesthesia. Once the patient is under anesthesia, the surgeon makes a horizontal incision from hip to hip, typically starting above the pubic hairline. If additional removal is needed, a vertical incision might be added.

Next, the surgeon removes the excess skin and fat. In cases of extensive skin removal, a small tube may be placed to drain fluid and reduce swelling. Finally, the remaining skin is pulled together and sutured closed.

Post-surgery, the patient will need to focus on recovery, which involves rest, limited physical activity, and following specific care instructions to promote healing and minimize scarring.

Cost of Newport Beach Panniculectomy Surgery in California

The cost of panniculectomy surgery can vary significantly based on several factors such as location, surgeon’s expertise, and additional medical necessities.

How Much Does a Panniculectomy Cost?

The cost of panniculectomy surgery in Newport Beach, CA typically ranges from $7,575 to $20,000. This range accounts for various elements including surgeon fees, anesthesia, facility costs, and post-operative care.

Insurance coverage is a key factor, as panniculectomy is often deemed medically necessary and may be covered, reducing out-of-pocket expenses. It’s advisable to confirm with your insurance provider beforehand.

Additional costs might include compression garments and post-procedure medications. Some patients may also face hospital stay charges if an overnight stay is required.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance coverage for panniculectomy varies significantly. It depends on the insurance company’s policies and whether the procedure is deemed medically necessary.

Is a Panniculectomy Covered by Insurance?

Insurance coverage for a panniculectomy largely hinges on whether the procedure is classified as medically necessary. Health insurance companies often require documentation that shows how the excess skin is causing medical issues, such as infections or mobility problems. These conditions can make the surgery more likely to be covered.

Several insurance companies might have specific criteria. Criteria may include a minimum amount of skin to be removed, a body mass index (BMI) limit, or a history of prior bariatric surgery. Meeting these conditions does not guarantee coverage, as policies can vary.

Non-Surgical Alternatives

When considering alternatives to panniculectomy surgery for removing excess abdominal skin and fat, several non-surgical methods might prove beneficial. These alternatives often involve lifestyle changes and non-invasive procedures aimed at fat reduction and improving skin elasticity.

What Non-Surgical Alternatives are There to a Panniculectomy?

Adopting a balanced diet and regular exercise can help reduce body fat and improve overall health. High-protein, low-carb diets and daily physical activity like aerobic exercises or strength training can have significant impacts on body contour.

This non-invasive procedure, also known as CoolSculpting, uses freezing temperatures to break down fat cells. It’s effective for reducing fat layers without surgery and has minimal recovery time.

Procedures like Thermage use radiofrequency energy to heat tissues and stimulate collagen production. This can tighten skin and reduce the appearance of sagging or excess skin.

Non-invasive treatments such as Ultherapy use focused ultrasound waves to target and destroy fat cells. It promotes gradual fat loss and skin tightening without the need for surgical intervention.

Techniques like SculpSure use laser energy to heat and destroy fat cells. These methods offer precise targeting and are suitable for smaller, concentrated areas of fat.

These alternatives can offer varying degrees of effectiveness and are best considered after consulting with a healthcare professional to determine which method fits personal health needs and goals.

Pros and Cons

Panniculectomy surgery offers significant benefits for individuals struggling with excess abdominal skin and fat but comes with its own set of drawbacks. Patients should consider both sides to make an informed decision.

What are the Pros and Cons of Panniculectomy Surgery?


  1. Improved Physical Comfort: The removal of excess skin can reduce irritation, chafing, and infection, making physical activities more comfortable.
  2. Enhanced Mobility: With the pannus gone, many find it easier to move around, exercise, and perform daily activities.
  3. Aesthetics: This surgery often results in a smoother, more toned abdominal area, boosting self-confidence and body image.


  1. Surgical Risks: As a major surgery, it carries risks like infection, bleeding, and anesthesia complications.
  2. Scarring: Patients should expect noticeable scars, which may fade over time but never fully disappear.
  3. Recovery Time: The recovery period can be lengthy and requires careful management to avoid complications such as persistent pain or swelling.

Side Effects, Risks, and Complications

Panniculectomy surgery can have various side effects, risks, and complications that patients should be aware of. These can include immediate surgical risks, potential complications during healing, and longer-term effects.

Are There Side Effects, Risks, or Complications of Panniculectomy Surgery?

After surgery, patients may experience pain, swelling, and bruising around the wound sites. These are common and generally subside within a few weeks. There can be visible scarring where the skin has been removed, which may fade over time but often remains.

The procedure comes with risks such as bleeding, infection, and fluid accumulation (seroma). Anesthesia risks are also present, including severe reactions that necessitate immediate medical attention. There’s the possibility of asymmetry in the abdominal area following surgery.

Some patients may develop deep vein thrombosis, uncontrolled cardiac disease and pulmonary complications. Fat necrosis, where fatty tissue deep beneath the skin might die, can occur. Healing issues like prolonged pain, swelling, and infection can extend recovery time and complicate results.

Preparation for Surgery

Proper preparation is crucial for a successful panniculectomy surgery. It’s essential to follow your medical team’s instructions and make specific lifestyle adjustments to ensure the best possible outcome.

How Should I Prepare for a Panniculectomy?

Before surgery, you may need lab tests or a complete medical evaluation. These tests will help the surgeon understand your overall health and readiness for the procedure. It’s also critical to manage any existing health conditions.

Medications play a significant role in preparing for surgery. You might need to adjust your current medications or take new ones. Importantly, you should avoid certain over the counter medicines such as aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs, as they increase the risk of bleeding.

Lifestyle changes can aid in a smoother recovery. Stop smoking at least several weeks before surgery, as smoking can hinder healing. Also, maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise helps your body prepare for the stress of surgery and recovery.

Panniculectomy Recovery Process

The recovery process after a panniculectomy involves several key aspects. Patients must follow their surgeon’s guidelines for optimal healing and manage various post-operative elements such as drains and activity levels effectively.

How Long Does it Take to Recover From a Panniculectomy?

The initial healing period for a panniculectomy typically spans several weeks. During this time, patients will experience soreness, swelling, and numbness in the abdominal area. Full recovery may require several months, as the body adjusts and the surgical site continues to heal.

Patients will have surgical drains to help remove excess fluids from the wound site. It’s crucial to keep these clean and follow the surgeon’s instructions about care. Drains are usually removed within one to two weeks, depending on fluid output and the surgeon’s assessment.

Rest is vital during the early stage of recovery. Patients should avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for at least six weeks. Light walking is encouraged to promote circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots. Gradually increasing activity levels according to medical advice is important for effective recovery.

Regular follow-up visits with the surgeon are essential to monitor healing progress and address any concerns. Adhering to post-operative care instructions, including wound care and scar management, supports optimal recovery outcomes.

Duration of Panniculectomy Results

Panniculectomy results vary depending on individual factors. Longevity is influenced by lifestyle choices, the body’s response to surgery, and other factors.

How Long Does a Panniculectomy Last?

The duration of panniculectomy results depends largely on several factors, including lifestyle changes and overall health. The initial scarring may take several months to a year to fade.

Long-term results can be sustained if patients maintain a stable weight and follow a healthy lifestyle. However, weight fluctuations and pregnancy can impact the results. Additional surgeries may sometimes be required if the desired outcomes are not achieved with the initial procedure.

Regular follow-ups with the surgeon can help monitor any changes and maintain optimal results. Proper wound care and adherence to post-operative instructions are essential for ensuring the longevity of the surgery outcomes.

Expected Results

Patients often seek a panniculectomy to remove excess skin from the lower abdomen, which can result in improved appearance and health. It’s important to understand the potential outcomes and the factors that might influence them.

What Results Can I Expect After I Have Panniculectomy Surgery?

Patients undergoing panniculectomy often see a significant change in their appearance, particularly in the contour of their abdomen. The reduction of the overhanging skin can provide a more streamlined look, which many find boosts their self-confidence.

In terms of health improvement, removing the panniculus can alleviate symptoms associated with it, such as skin irritation, rashes, and infections.

It’s important to note that while the surgery can have dramatic effects, the scar may take several months to a year to fade. Some patients might require additional surgeries to achieve the best results.

Before & After Photos

Panniculectomy surgery involves the removal of loose skin and fat from the abdomen. These photos help illustrate the typical results that patients can expect, showcasing the real-life transformations achieved.

Panniculectomy Before & After (B&A) Photos

Patients often share before and after panniculectomy photos to highlight their experiences and outcomes.

Aesthetic improvements are common, with many patients showing dramatic decreases in excess skin and fat. Photos typically display front, side, and sometimes back views, allowing for comprehensive evaluation of surgical outcomes.

About the Author

Dr. Brandon Richland, MD is one of the best, most respected, top Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in Newport Beach, California specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries.

Driven by his passion for medicine, Dr. Richland obtained his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the prestigious program at Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine in 2013. His exceptional skills were recognized when he received the McGraw Hill / Lange Medical Student Academic Achievement Award, and graduated top of his class with Honors. For his undergraduate degree, he attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated with Honors in 2009.

To further enhance his surgical expertise, Dr. Richland completed his Residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) from 2013 to 2019 earning the Academic Achievement Award twice during this period. A total of 14 years in dedicated schooling and medical residency.

Dr. Richland is actively involved with healthcare and medical societies, as a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Contact Dr. Richland’s Newport Beach Plastic Surgery office today by calling 949-867-6005, or visit RichlandMD.com to schedule your personalized plastic surgery consultation in Newport Beach.