Panniculectomy: Before Your Surgery
What is a panniculectomy?
A panniculectomy is surgery to remove fat and skin that hangs down from your belly. Often the fat and skin come from losing a lot of weight.
You will be asleep during surgery. The doctor makes one or more cuts (incisions) in your belly. Extra fat and skin are removed. Then the skin is brought together and closed with stitches, staples, or skin glue. The surgery leaves one or more scars. The scars will fade with time.
You may go home the same day, or you may spend a day or longer in the hospital. You will need to take it easy for 2 to 3 weeks at home.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
How do you prepare for surgery?
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
Preparing for surgery
- Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
- Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
- Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
- If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your surgery. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
- Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.
What happens on the day of surgery?
- Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be cancelled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
- Follow your doctor's instructions about when to bathe or shower before your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
- Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
- Take off all jewellery and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.
At the hospital or surgery centre
- Bring a picture ID.
- The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
- You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. In most cases, you will be asleep during the surgery.
- The surgery will take about 3 to 5 hours.
When should you call your doctor?
- You have questions or concerns.
- You don't understand how to prepare for your surgery.
- You become ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
- You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the surgery.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter P180 in the search box to learn more about "Panniculectomy: Before Your Surgery".
Current as of: November 15, 2021