Loose abdominal skin can ruin the aesthetics of your body and give the impression that there is excessive fat present while it may not actually be there. This loose skin can be a cause of mental and physical burden, especially if in the lower abdominal region as that also impacts the fit of your clothes.
Diets and exercise plans do not help reduce excess skin in the lower abdominal region but you can have it removed surgically. While removal of the excess skin from the abdominal region is known as abdominoplasty and is a great option for those with loose skin all around, there is a specific procedure for removal of the apron of loose skin that forms a pouch in your lower abdominal area known as apronectomy.
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What is an Apronectomy procedure?
An Apronectomy procedure is a cosmetic surgical procedure that is performed with the purpose of removing excess skin that hangs like an apron over your pubic area. It also removes stubborn fat or adipose tissue collections known as pannus along with the apron of skin but it does not have an effect on the muscles of the abdominal wall, whatsoever.
It is a major surgical procedure but not as extensive as abdominoplasty, with it being often performed as a substitute for abdominoplasty in individuals who cannot undergo the latter due to medical restrictions. Note – Some General Surgeons only perform an apronectomy because unlike plastic surgeons, they are not fulled trained to do abdominoplasty.
Apronectomy, also known as panniculectomy, enhances the contours of the lower abdominal region, giving it a chiseled look that will give you the confidence boost you deserve. While the procedure is referred to as a cosmetic surgery procedure, it is not performed for aesthetic reasons only. Overhanging excess skin can cause irritation and the fold of skin acts as a perfect home for the growth of bacteria resulting in infections and redness of the skin in the lower abdominal and pubic regions.
Difference between Abdominoplasty and Apronectomy
Apronectomy is just the removal of the pannus and the apron of overhanging skin from the lower abdominal region for medical and cosmetic reasons. It is a simpler procedure when compared to the complex details of abdominoplasty. Abdominoplasty, on the other hand, is a complex procedure that involves the removal of excess skin from the abdominal region along with stubborn fat that just won’t go away with exercise and diet. It can also include of tightening of the internal muscles of the abdominal wall. This requires a skilled plastic surgeon.
Moreover, apronectomy doesn’t take as long as abdominoplasty and is recommended for patients who cannot be under anesthesia for longer periods of time due to health complications. The results of both procedures are also significantly different with apronectomy just removing the pannus and abdominoplasty giving you a flat tummy. The former is also just for the lower region of the abdomen whereas the latter includes the entire abdomen and produces results accordingly.
The apronectomy procedure is also more financially affordable for patients than abdominoplasty as it is mostly a medically necessary procedure performed to prevent medical complications and not as much for cosmetic reasons. Although it can be performed for cosmetic reasons, abdominoplasty is more appropriate for that and hence, more costly than apronectomy. The cosmetic or aesthetic results of an apronectomy are usually not as good as a full abdominoplasty.
Ideal Candidates for the Apronectomy Procedure
Apronectomy can be helpful for anyone who has excessive and overhanging lower abdominal skin accompanied by pannus. This procedure is the best choice for those with excess skin but no major cosmetic concerns. It is often chosen due to medical complications caused by the pannus or overhanging skin.
The ideal candidates for the apronectomy procedure are:
- Physically and mentally healthy
- At their ideal weight, or close to their ideal weight
- Mentally prepared for the results and aware of the complications that can arise from this procedure
- Nonsmoker or willing to quit smoking at least 8 weeks prior to the procedure
- Undergoing the procedure for themselves
- Those with minimal cosmetic concerns and require the procedure for medical reasons
- Those that have loose overhanging skin and a pannus of fat.
Benefits of the Apronectomy Procedure
The apronectomy procedure has many benefits with most of them related to medical or health. The main benefit of the apronectomy procedure is that it removes the overhanging skin which is often the cause of recurrent infections, sores, and redness in patients. It also removes the pannus which takes up space in the abdominal cavity and can have a compressive effect, resulting in further medical complications.
Moreover, the procedure can be performed on patients with slightly higher BMI than those choosing to undergo abdominoplasty. It is to help them get rid of the pannus and manage their health. The reason why higher BMI patients can undergo this procedure is that many patients with an overhanging apron of skin find it difficult to exercise and lose weight. The apron often gets irritated with sweat as well, further exaggerating the problem with exercising.
Recovery from the Apronectomy Procedure
Recovery from the apronectomy procedure takes approximately 4 weeks to 6 weeks, with the first two weeks being marked with discomfort, pain, bruising, and swelling. The first-week post-op should be spent resting, with minimal to no movements to ensure proper healing. Taking off from work is recommended during this period and refraining from baths especially is recommended as well.
The first three weeks should be free of any sort of physical exercise, especially the strenuous kind that puts pressure on your incisions. This is to avoid any complications of your results such as wound separation as that can happen. After these three weeks, you can start performing light exercises and perform your daily life activities, just making sure to never put direct pressure on your incisions.
You should also refrain from smoking or drinking alcohol during this period. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics and pain management medications to help you during the recovery period. You should especially avoid drinking while you are on these medications.
Risks and Complications of the Apronectomy Procedure
An apronectomy procedure may not be as extensive a procedure as abdominoplasty but it still is a surgical procedure, and as such has certain risks and complications associated with itself. The most common side effects of the procedure include, but are not limited to:
- Risks of anesthesia
- Persistent swelling
- Need for revisional surgery
- Wound dehiscence
- Excessive skin loss
- Persistent pain
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Fluid accumulation
Frequently Asked Questions about Apronectomy
What is involved in an Apronectomy?
- Apronectomy procedure includes the removal of excess overhanging skin from the lower abdominal area that prevents patients from losing weight as it is uncomfortable. It is smaller than an abdominoplasty and only removes the apron of skin, with little to no effect on loose skin in upper abdominal regions. It also doesn’t include muscle repair of any sort.
What is the difference between abdominoplasty and Panniculectomy?
- Abdominoplasty refers to the removal of excess skin from the abdominal region and tightening of abdominal muscles if needed. It is performed for people who recently lost a significant amount of weight or have undergone multiple pregnancies, which has left them with loosel excess skin.
- Panniculectomy is a surgical procedure covered by Medicare, unlike abdominoplasty, is the removal of pannus and overhanging skin from the lower abdominal region specifically. Pannus is a collection of fat or adipose tissue that is too stubborn to be removed by exercise. This procedure does not include tightening of abdominal muscles at all.
Can I get an Apronectomy on Medicare?
- Yes, an apronectomy may be subsidised by Medicare as long as it was performed for medical reasons such as recurrent infections and sores of the skin. If performed for purley cosmetic reasons, apronectomy or panniculectomy is not covered by Medicare, or other insurance providers. read the Medicare page for more information.
What is the best surgery for belly fat?
- Belly fat can be reduced using appropriate diet plans and exercise regimes. Stubborn fat in the lower abdomen may be mobilized and treated with liposuction. If the fat is accompanied by overhanging skin and raises concerns medically and cosmetically, then abdominoplasty surgery may be performed. However, if there are no cosmetic concerns and the muscles are intact and well, then panniculectomy or apronectomy may be performed. The choosing of this procedure also depends on whether the fat is in the lower region alone as if it is present all over the abdomen, then this procedure is not helpful.
Why is my stomach big after a tummy tuck?
- Tummy tuck procedure is a major surgical procedure that requires rest for at least one week after the procedure. The total recovery of the procedure takes approximately 4 weeks to 6 weeks, with the first two weeks being marked by significant swelling and bruising giving the illusion of a big stomach after the procedure.
How can I afford a tummy tuck?
- If your tummy tuck is a medical necessity, then you may have the procedure subsidised by Medicare or Health Insurance providers. However, you should clarify this with your insurance provider before signing up to undergo the procedure.
What is better, lipo or tummy tuck?
- The choice of procedure depends on the expected results. If you have excess stubborn fat that isn’t responding to any form of exercise or diet, liposuction may be better for you. But if this is accompanied by loose, droopy skin then you may benefit more from a tummy tuck as liposuction can’t manage the saggy skin but tummy tuck can manage both.
Is Loose skin removal covered by Medicare?
- If the loose skin is causing an apron, and collection of sweat is leading to irritation and redness of the skin along with infections and sores development in the folds of loose skin, then the procedure may be covered by Medicare. This is because this loose skin removal can be medically necessary and not undergoing this procedure puts you at risk of severe health complications.
Can you get rid of the apron belly without surgery?
- Undergoing surgical removal of overhanging belly skin is the only way to get rid of it. Once the skin stretches to that extent, it very rarely goes back to its original shape with natural contours without surgical manipulation.
How much weight do you lose with a tummy tuck or apronectomy?
- The amount of weight you lose after a tummy tuck or apronectomy procedure depends on the extent of the procedure and the severity of the loose skin. However, a minimum of 2 kg or a bit less is lost by most patients undergoing the tummy tuck procedure. However, some patients can lose up to 10 pounds after the procedure.
What is a 360 tummy tuck?
- A 360 tummy tuck includes the removal of fat and excess skin from the trunk in a 360 degrees manner. Basically, excess skin is removed from the abdomen, back, flank, and hips, in a full circle. It is often accompanied by circumferential liposuction to enhance the results of the tummy tuck.
Is a tummy tuck worth it?
- A tummy tuck is a beneficial procedure performed for people with excess abdominal skin as a result of losing huge amounts of weight or undergoing multiple pregnancies. If you are suffering from saggy skin that has taken a toll on you physically and mentally, then a tummy tuck might be worth your while. Book a consultation with our specialist plastic surgeons to find out more.
How long do you stay in hospital after a tummy tuck?
- A tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure that is performed as an outpatient procedure meaning that you only stay in the hospital only for a day, if at all. In most cases, you may be discharged by the next day.
References about Apronectomy or Panniculectomy
Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne Plastic Surgeon – FRCS (Plas)
Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon. Both he and his team are dedicated to excellence in patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
Not only does he offer high-quality results he also offers natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results. Furthermore, he is experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.
How can we help?
Dr Briggs’ Patient Coordinators take pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 8 am – 6 pm on Weekdays.
Want more information about your Procedure?
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
- You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.