Panniculectomy with liposuction can produce dramatic contouring effects by removing the apron of skin and tissue that hangs from the abdomen, and suctioning the excess fat. This “combo” approach is often reserved for massive weight loss patients with large redundant skin and “stubborn” fat rolls, which do not lend themselves to diet and exercise.
(Note: Tummy tuck and panniculectomy are almost the same, except that the latter entails a larger skin removal, which MWL patients require to achieve near normal appearance.)
In a recent Snapchat video post, leading Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley has recently demonstrated panniculectomy with liposuction performed in a female patient with large rolls of skin in her anterior abdomen and fat rolls along her flanks and lower back.
Dr. Smiley first performed liposuction in which the fatty areas were injected with tumescent fluids, which caused the fat cells to expand and thus easier to be removed with a cannula (hollowed stainless steel tube attached to a vacuum pump).
Afterwards, Dr. Smiley created a curved flank-to-flank incision pattern to remove the hanging apron of skin and fat. He positioned the scar lower than the standard approach (i.e., a few centimeters below the pubic hairline) because the patient also needed a pubis lift.
Dr. Smiley said that following massive weight loss, the mons pubis tends to sag and/or appear noticeably full, which could prevent MWL patients to wear tight leggings out of embarrassment.
After removing the apron-like skin, which was about 2 ½ inches thick, Dr. Smiley slightly lifted the mons pubis so it would not detract from the flatter, smoother abdomen.
Afterwards, the celebrity plastic surgeon closed the incisions in a way that the resulting curved scar was positioned underneath the patient’s underwear. With meticulous suturing technique (no tension on the skin) and proper postop care, the scar is expected to fade into a thin white line after about a year.