Apron belly, also known as pannus stomach, is the hanging fat and skin that sags from the abdominal area. Apron belly appears after dramatic weight loss or pregnancy. The excess, expanded skin and some of the fat tissues gained that were a part of your body shape during pregnancy or while you were at a higher weight persist, even after childbirth and weight loss. This results in the hanging “apron” of fat and skin tissue.
Apron belly may appear as a shorter, smaller amount of sagging skin and fat, or it may be a larger, longer amount that hangs down over your genitals and thighs or even lower. Unless it is very minor, a surgical procedure is necessary to eliminate an apron belly, either a plus size tummy tuck or a panniculectomy.
Which is right for you, a tummy tuck or a panniculectomy?
These two surgical procedures performed to contour the abdominal area are similar in that they both address and remove sagging skin and fat, but are very different in terms of how much of the abdominal area they address and what they are designed to specifically achieve. A panniculectomy is designed to treat an apron belly, while a plus size tummy tuck is designed to address the entire abdominal area.
While every patient is unique, generally those who have a significant apron belly of hanging skin that covers the groin or lower, a panniculectomy is best. Those who have an apron belly, excess skin in the middle abdomen, and weakened or separated stomach muscles are more suited for a plus size tummy tuck.
Which surgery is right for you? We will get into the details of each of these surgeries to help you compare.
Addressing apron belly with a panniculectomy
A panniculectomy is an effective surgery that directly and only targets the sagging apron of skin and fat, removing it to restore a smoother, flatter abdominal area.
- What abdominal area does a panniculectomy address?
A panniculectomy addresses only the hanging apron of skin that droops over the abdomen and pubic area. This surgery does not sculpt and flatten the overall abdominal area, rejuvenate the belly button, or tighten weakened abdominal muscles with sutures.
- Who is the best candidate for a panniculectomy?
A panniculectomy is best for healthy individuals who have hanging skin and tissue in the lower abdomen, but who have strong underlying stomach muscles (not separated due to pregnancy or weight gain) and a relatively contoured upper and middle abdominal area.
- How does a panniculectomy address apron belly?
During a panniculectomy, two incisions are made on your lower abdomen. These incisions are used to remove excess skin and tissue. The remaining skin is pulled tight and sutured to achieve a smooth, firm contour.
- What is the recovery process like after a panniculectomy?
You will require at least one to two weeks of downtime after a panniculectomy and will not be able to exercise for several weeks.
- What are the results like after a panniculectomy?
After a panniculectomy, your lower abdomen will be flatter and smoother. Excess skin and tissue will be eliminated.
Addressing apron belly with a plus size tummy tuck
A plus size tummy tuck achieves dramatic contouring and firming results in the abdomen, achieving the results of a panniculectomy to address the apron belly, but also including a wider area. A plus tummy tuck includes the rejuvenation of the abdominal muscles and also addresses the upper abdomen to sculpt and tighten the entire abdominal contour.
- What abdominal area does a plus size tummy tuck address?
A tummy tuck addresses the excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen, apron belly, a sagging belly button, loose skin in the mid and upper abdomen, and weakened abdominal muscles, which are surgically tightened with permanent sutures.
- Who is the best candidate for a plus size tummy tuck?
A plus size tummy tuck is designed to achieve overall abdominal rejuvenation. Patients who were told they needed to lose weight to have a tummy tuck, who have a bulging waist, who have excess tissue on their middle and upper abdomen, who have separated stomach muscles, who have apron stomach, and who have a sagging belly button and similar concerns, or who would like a more comprehensive contouring effect are the best candidates for a tummy tuck.
- How does a plus size tummy tuck address apron belly?
During a plus size tummy tuck, a horizontal incision is made low on the abdomen from hip bone to hip bone. Excess skin and fat are removed, including the apron belly, and the upper skin of the abdominal area is pulled downward and secured tightly. The belly button is recreated. This surgery addresses the entire abdominal area.
- What is the recovery process like after a plus size tummy tuck?
You will require about three weeks of downtime after your plus size tummy tuck. You will have drains around the abdomen to help drain excess fluids and improve the healing process. These drains will be removed after about one week. It’s very important to give yourself plenty of time to rest and recuperate, and do not exert yourself. It will take two to three months before you can exercise again.
- What are the results like after a plus size tummy tuck?
After a plus size tummy tuck, your entire abdominal area will be more contoured, sculpted, and toned. Your apron belly will be gone, and your stomach will be flatter and tighter.
Why is it important to remove your apron belly?
Apron belly is more than a cosmetic concern–it can also impact your health. The presence of sagging, loose skin that hangs down past the lower abdomen can reduce your quality of life in many ways, both cosmetically and health-wise. Health complications and risks beyond cosmetic concerns can be serious and include the following:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Cancer (such as ovarian cancer)
- Skin irritation, persistent infections, and rashes
- Significant sweating issues
- Hygiene concerns
No matter how difficult it seems to get rid of your apron belly, keep in mind that it can in fact be gotten rid of. You don’t have to dress in loose clothing or wear support bands. You don’t have to feel embarrassed or self-conscious. You don’t have to worry about skin rashes and infections and a range of other health complications. You can have your apron belly removed and be free of this sagging, excess tissue for good.
Whether the right procedure for you is a panniculectomy or a plus size tummy tuck, Dr. Repta will work with you to ensure your apron belly surgery is customized for your needs and designed specifically to achieve your goals.
Why choose Dr. Repta to address your apron belly?
Dr. Repta is an experienced, board-certified surgeon who is sought after for abdominal procedures. He is passionate about helping people achieve their aesthetic goals to improve their quality of life and general health. Dr. Repta created the innovative Plus Size Tummy Tuck, an exciting step forward in aesthetic medicine, to allow women with a higher BMI and apron belly to safely benefit from the comprehensive tummy tuck procedure. Dr. Repta is a groundbreaking leader in the field of plastic surgery, carrying a reputation as a trusted, talented, and caring doctor. Dr. Repta dedicates himself to his patients’ needs and goals, ensuring their desired outcome is realized safely, professionally, and with compassion and understanding. Please call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Repta and learn more about your path to getting rid of your apron belly for good.