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Apronectomy To Remove Excess Abdomen Skin

Loose abdominal skin can rub against clothing or adjacent skin, leading to physical discomfort such as redness, irritation, inflammation, or sores. This skin condition can also cause difficulty with mobility and difficulty cleaning and drying skin folds.

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, 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 is a surgical procedure that removes 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. However, this procedure does not involve muscle repair or reshaping.

An apronectomy 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 fully trained to do abdominoplasty.

Apronectomy, also known as panniculectomy, reshapes the lower abdominal region by removing excess skin. While the procedure is referred to as a cosmetic surgery procedure, it can also be performed to address health concerns. 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 and is performed for medical and cosmetic reasons. It is a simpler procedure than 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 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 anaesthesia for longer periods due to health complications. The results of both procedures are also significantly different. An apronectomy removes the pannus, while abdominoplasty removes excess skin and fat while tightening the abdominal muscles. Furthermore, an apronectomy targets the lower region of the abdomen, whereas abdominoplasty includes the entire abdomen.

Suitable 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 recommended for those with excess skin but no major cosmetic concerns. It is often chosen to address medical complications caused by the pannus or overhanging skin.

The suitable 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 eight weeks before the procedure
  • Undergoing the procedure for themselves
  • Those with minimal cosmetic concerns and require the procedure for medical reasons
  • Those who have loose overhanging skin and a pannus of fat

Potential Outcomes of the Apronectomy Procedure

The apronectomy procedure has many potential outcomes 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 to 6 weeks, with the first two weeks associated 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 and avoiding soaking in a bathtub or swimming is recommended during this period.

The first three weeks should be free of any physical exercise, especially strenuous activities, as they can put pressure on your incisions. This is to avoid any complications such as wound separation. After three weeks, you can start performing light exercises and return to your daily life activities but you still need to avoid putting direct pressure on your incisions.

You should also refrain from smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol during this period. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics and pain medications to help you during the recovery period. Make sure to take the prescribed medications as directed by your doctor.

Risks and Complications of the Apronectomy Procedure

An apronectomy may not be as extensive as abdominoplasty, but it is still a surgical procedure. Therefore, it has certain risks and complications. The risks and complications associated with the procedure are:

  • Risks of anaesthesia
  • Persistent swelling
  • Bruising
  • Asymmetry
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Need for revisional surgery
  • Wound dehiscence (wound separation)
  • Excessive skin loss
  • Numbness
  • Persistent pain
  • Scarring
  • Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot formation in the deep veins of the lower extremities)
  • Fluid accumulation

Frequently Asked Questions about Apronectomy

What is involved in an Apronectomy?

  • The apronectomy procedure includes the removal of excess overhanging skin from the lower abdominal area. It is less extensive than abdominoplasty as it only removes the apron of skin. It also doesn’t include muscle repair or reshaping.

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 recommended for people who recently lost a significant amount of weight or have undergone multiple pregnancies, which has left them with loose excess skin.
  • Panniculectomy is the removal of pannus and overhanging skin from the lower abdominal region. Pannus is a collection of fat or adipose tissue that does not respond to diet and exercise. This procedure does not include tightening of abdominal muscles.

Can I get an Apronectomy on Medicare?

  • Yes, an apronectomy may be covered by Medicare if it is performed for medical reasons, such as treating recurrent skin infections or sores due to the overhanging skin from the lower abdominal region. If performed for purely cosmetic reasons, apronectomy or panniculectomy is not covered by Medicare or other insurance providers. Read the Medicare page for more information.

What might be a suitable surgery for belly fat?

  • Belly fat can be reduced using appropriate diet plans and exercise regimes. Stubborn fat in the lower abdomen can be treated with liposuction. If the fat is accompanied by overhanging skin and is associated with cosmetic and health concerns, then abdominoplasty surgery may be performed. However, if there are no cosmetic concerns and the muscles are intact and well, then a panniculectomy or apronectomy may be performed.

Why is my stomach big after abdominoplasty?

  • Abdominoplasty is a major surgical procedure that requires rest for at least one week after the surgery. The total recovery from the procedure takes approximately 4 weeks to 6 weeks, with the first two weeks being marked by significant swelling and bruising. This gives the illusion of a big stomach after the procedure.

How can I afford abdominoplasty?

  • If your abdominoplasty is a medical necessity, then the procedure may be covered 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 abdominoplasty?

  • 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 abdominoplasty.

Is Loose skin removal covered by Medicare?

  • If the loose skin is causing discomfort, such as recurrent skin infections, irritation, sores, or hygiene issues due to the collection of sweat in the area, then the procedure may be covered by Medicare. This is because loose skin removal can be medically necessary, and not undergoing this procedure can lead to health complications.

Can you get rid of the overhanging abdomen skin 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 rarely goes back to its original shape without surgical manipulation.

How much weight do you lose with abdominoplasty or apronectomy?

  • The amount of weight you lose after an abdominoplasty or apronectomy depends on the extent of the procedure and the severity of the loose skin.

What is a 360 abdominoplasty?

  • A 360 abdominoplasty includes the removal of fat and excess skin from the trunk in a 360-degree manner. This procedure involves the removal of excess skin from the abdomen, back, flank, and hips, in a full circle. It is often accompanied by circumferential liposuction.

Is abdominoplasty worth it?

  • An abdominoplasty may be 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 have excess skin that is associated with cosmetic and health concerns, then undergoing an abdominoplasty may be worth it. Book a consultation with our specialist plastic surgeons to find out more.

How long do you stay in the hospital after an abdominoplasty?

  • An abdominoplasty is a major surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tightening of the abdominal muscles. The length of your hospital stay will depend on the extent of the surgery, the surgeon’s preference, and your overall health.

References about Apronectomy or Panniculectomy

Specialist Plastic Surgeons and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeons are dedicated to best-practice patient care and education, customising Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

Dr Craig Rubinstein
Dr Broughton Snell
Dr Stephen Kleid
Dr Gary Kode

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001124843

Dr Craig Rubinstein

Dr Craig Rubinstein is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Hawthorn East, Melbourne. With over 20 years of surgical experience especially in all areas of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, but particularly in breast surgery. These include Breast Augmentation and Breast Reduction as well as Breast Surgery Revision.

Furthermore, he believes that surgical customisation, precision planning and technical expertise help him to provide optimal surgical outcomes for his patients.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001190266

Dr Broughton Snell

Dr Broughton Snell is a Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His training in Plastic Surgery took place in Australia and the United States of America (USA).

Dr Snell is a fully qualified specialist plastic surgeon having completed his Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon MED0001052799

Dr Stephen Kleid

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in Melbourne with a passion for Septo-rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, as well as, a strong interest in Rhinoplasty Revision.

Dr Kleid trained at Melbourne University, then completed surgical training at various hospitals including Royal Melbourne, Royal Children’s, The Eye and Ear and St Vincents. He worked as a surgeon at the University of Florida Medical school for further experience.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001405964

Dr Gary Kode

Dr Gary Kode is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, with experience in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments.

Dr Kode is a member of several organisations, including the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), The International Confederation for Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, and he holds a Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday - Friday.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.

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