Difference Between Abdominoplasty and Panniculectomy (With Table)

The lower abdomen is treated using abdominoplasty and panniculectomy surgeries. People frequently get these done to achieve a flatter tummy that would help them lose weight. The procedure involves surgically removing fat and skin from the lower abdomen.

Both methods, however, involve different methods of operation. It might be difficult to determine which choice is the best. The good thing about doing both these surgeries together is that they are both highly effective in getting the results that you have been looking for over the years. 

Abdominoplasty vs Panniculectomy

The main difference between abdominoplasty and panniculectomy is that abdominoplasty is a beauty procedure that removes extra fatty tissue from the lower abdominal area while contracting the muscles in that region. On the other hand, a panniculectomy is a medical procedure that removes sagging skin and fat that drapes from the lower abdomen. Panniculectomy, unlike abdominoplasty, does not entail muscle tightening.

Abdominoplasty, sometimes known as a “tummy tuck,” is a cosmetic treatment that seeks to trim and tighten the abdomen. It is frequently performed by people who have drooping skin as a result of considerable weight loss or by women who have recently given birth. The musculature of the thorax is tightened, and extra skin and fat are removed.

The panniculus is removed during a panniculectomy, which is a medical treatment. This is thick visceral fat that borders the lower abdominal lining. A panniculectomy, on the other hand, is much more of a clinical need than an abdominoplasty. People who have undergone weight loss surgery are the ones that do it the most.

Comparison Table Between Abdominoplasty and Panniculectomy

Parameters of ComparisonAbdominoplastyPanniculectomy
ImplicationIt’s a cosmetic procedure that firms up the stomach. It’s a healthcare procedure that
involves the lower abdomen.
NecessityIt is up to the individual to decide whether or not they
want to do it.
It is a healthcare requirement.
Side effectsSoreness in the back and bladder problems are two 
common side effects.
Skin infections, rashes, or ulcers 
are common side effects.
TechniqueIt is performed on people who have stretch marks on 
the saggy skin as a result of weight loss or on women
who has recently given birth
It is carried out by individuals 
who has undergone weight-loss surgery
CostMore affordable and cost-effectiveExpensive procedure

What is Abdominoplasty?

Abdominoplasty is a beauty procedure that makes a person’s lower abdomen appear smaller and firmer. Plastic surgeons perform the procedure. The extra skin and fat that causes a sagging belly are removed, and the abdominal muscles are tightened. This is done for people who have lost a lot of weight or have had a baby.

Following the surgery, the procedure necessitates a period of recovery. In most cases, the patient will heal completely in four weeks. However, there may be some discomfort and bruising in the beginning. Certain precautions should be taken, such as seeking to avoid nicotine and heavy-duty manual labor. Furthermore, a helpful abdominal binder may be beneficial.

There are some risks, however, that can be life-threatening. After the surgery, complications such as infectious diseases, thrombosis, and blood clots may occur. As a result, it is always best to have the procedure done in a work context after thorough research and consultation.

Liquid under the abdomen skin is a major complaint that many people experience after an abdominoplasty. A specialist can remove this fluid, which is primarily puss, by sapping this with a needle. Regardless, it has no bearing on the surgery’s final outcome.

What is Panniculectomy?

The panniculus is removed from the abdominal area through a medical procedure known as a panniculectomy. This is really a thick adipose tissue that runs along the lower abdomen’s wall. This procedure is carried out by qualified plastic surgeons for those who require it. This is done for people who have had weight loss surgery.

The procedure involves removing skin and tissue from the abdominal wall through two cuts. Its top, as well as the bottom portions of the epidermis, are reattached with sutures. Unlike the former, nevertheless, the muscle fibers are not clamped during the procedure. However, certain side effects, such as infectious diseases, rashes, and ulcers beneath the skin, may occur.

A surgery like this can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours to complete. This, however, may vary depending on the person’s body structure as well as the size of the puncture wounds made. The recovery period is comparable to that of a tummy tuck. There may be complications, but the outcomes are always permanent.

Regardless, a panniculectomy is very expensive. The additional costs of anesthesia and hospitalization bring the total to a much higher figure. Certain insurance companies, on the other hand, have policies that cover such procedures.

Main Differences Between Abdominoplasty and Panniculectomy

  1. Abdominoplasty is a cosmetic procedure, whereas panniculectomy is a health concern.
  2. Abdominoplasty is a routine surgery, whereas panniculectomy is a clinical problem.
  3. Abdominoplasty includes removing extra skin while tightening the muscle fibres, whereas panniculectomy means removing the panniculus from the belly without stiffening the musculature in that area.
  4. An abdominoplasty is for people who have fine lines and wrinkles in their skin after weight loss or pregnancy, whilst a panniculectomy is for individuals who have had weight-loss surgery.
  5. Abdominoplasty has side effects like pain, in the back, and incontinence, while rashes, ulcers, and infections are possible side effects of panniculectomy.


Abdominoplasty and panniculectomy are two procedures with similar outcomes. The procedures’ mechanisms, on the other hand, are completely different. Panniculectomy means removing skin and connective tissue without stiffening the muscle tissue of the lower abdomen, whereas abdominoplasty reduces skin and fat whilst also tightening the muscles. Furthermore, while abdominoplasty is a cosmetic procedure, a panniculectomy is a medical necessity.

Another significant distinction is that abdominoplasty is much less expensive than panniculectomy. Furthermore, a plastic surgeon performing an abdominoplasty might not be quite as experienced as a surgeon performing a panniculectomy. Regardless, it is always a good idea to have such procedures performed by reputable professionals after consulting with a professional in the field.


  1. https://journals.lww.com/annalsplasticsurgery/fulltext/2020/09000/postoperative_complications_of_panniculectomy_and.17.aspx
  2. https://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/FullText/2014/10000/Patient_Selection_Optimization_following_Combined.12.aspx