Q: Dr. Eppley, I am lookin into abdominal panniculectomy surgery. I have a large pannus that goe to my sides. It hangs below the pubic line but not completely covering the pubis. I am a larger woman but my stomach is the largest problem I have and I am interested in getting it removed. I am currently 290lbs but if you see me you wouldn’t think that because I have large muscle mass also. Do you operate on larger patients? I am currently eating healthier and it seems that my stomach has shrunk a few inches but will not go away. Please help.
A: The decision to undergo an abdominal panniculectomy is largely based on how large the pannus is and how much can be removed given the tightness of the abdominal skin. The one problem with the removal of any pannus near 300lbs is that only a limited amount can be removed given the tightness of the abdominal skin due to the distention from the underlying weight. A much more effective and larger abdominal panniculectomy could be performed when one’s weight is 50 to 75 lbs less as this loosens up the skin’s tightness. This doesn’t mean that at 290 lbs you can’t have the pannus removed, it just means it is a more effective procedure if you weighed less. I would need to see some pictures of your abdominal area to give a further assessment about whether it is a good idea to have the procedure at your current weight.
Dr. Barry Eppley