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Choosing Between Tummy Tuck and Panniculectomy

If you are looking to contour your abdomen, there are two options that may be suited for you: a tummy tuck and panniculectomy. They are both surgical procedures that remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal area.

A tummy tuck is ideal for people with mild concerns about loose skin over the lower abdomen or to tighten separated stomach muscles. It can also be useful for patients who are at a stable weight but wish to lose additional pounds.

What Is a Panniculectomy?

A panniculectomy can be life-changing for someone who suffers from extreme excess skin in their lower abdomen. The procedure removes the flap of skin that hangs down over your genitals and thighs. This can significantly reduce uncomfortable symptoms like foul body odor, rashes and sores in the fold of skin. In addition, it can make it easier to move around and find comfortable clothing.

The surgical procedure of panniculectomy involves surgically removing a large flap of skin from the lower abdomen. This procedure is more extensive than a tummy tuck and generally takes two to five hours. The surgeon will need to remove fat from the area and tighten muscles in the abdominal wall, but it is primarily an excess skin removal surgery.

A panniculectomy can be performed in a hospital or licensed ambulatory surgical center. You should wear loose-fitting clothes that are easy to get on and off, as you will need to wear a hospital gown during the operation. You should also arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery, as you will be groggy when it ends.

A panniculectomy can be more expensive than a tummy tuck, but medical insurance may cover part of the cost. Your doctor will discuss the cost and your insurance coverage with you before moving forward with this procedure.

What Are the Benefits of a Panniculectomy?

A panniculectomy is primarily a cosmetic procedure, and many patients find that their clothes fit better after this surgery. However, it can also help relieve rashes and infections that can develop underneath large flaps of skin. It can also improve mobility and boost confidence.

The primary candidate for a panniculectomy is someone who has lost a significant amount of weight through lifestyle changes, gastric bypass, or other surgeries, but still has a large flap of skin in the lower abdomen. This can diminish the excitement of a dramatic weight loss, or lead to frustration when trying to wear loose clothing. It can also cause rashes, infections, and hygiene problems. It’s important that a patient be at a stable weight before undergoing this procedure, or that they be committed to maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise.

If you’re considering a panniculectomy, it’s best to discuss your goals with a plastic surgeon like Mr. Dean White.

What Are the Consequences of a Panniculectomy?

Your doctor will determine whether you are a good candidate for panniculectomy by performing lab work and asking about your general health history. You should not be pregnant or smoke, as both can interfere with healing after the procedure. People who have lung disease, uncontrolled diabetes or cardiovascular problems may not be good candidates for this surgery. You should also be at a stable weight to ensure that your results will last.

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and requires several weeks for recovery. In the beginning, you may experience pain, bruising and numbness in the area. It is important to have a supportive friend or family member available to help you during the first few days after your operation. You will need to limit your activities to light walking and stretching, and you should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise.

It’s important to be at a stable weight before you undergo a panniculectomy. This ensures that you don’t gain weight and cause complications, which could be dangerous. You should also disclose any preexisting health conditions to your surgeon, including diabetes or lung disease.

Although a panniculectomy has cosmetic benefits, it is considered functional, meaning that insurance providers cover the procedure when it’s needed for medical reasons. You’ll want to speak with your insurance provider before you decide to have a panniculectomy because not all plans will cover it.

What Is a Tummy Tuck?

After significant weight loss, pregnancy or age-related changes to the body, many patients develop loose, sagging lower belly skin that diet and exercise can’t improve. A tummy tuck (also called abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the abdomen, providing a firmer, tighter appearance. It can also eliminate stretch marks and reposition the belly button, where necessary.

A panniculectectomy, named for the flap of excess skin that hangs over the lower abdomen, is a medically necessary procedure that may be covered by health insurance if you meet certain criteria. It can help prevent the sagging skin from causing back problems, skin ulcers and rashes and reduce the risk of infections. Our plastic surgeons use precision borne of experience to carefully cut the overlapping layers of skin and fat, leaving minimal scarring.

A tummy tuck can provide similar results, but also includes tightening of the abdominal muscles and detailed contouring work to enhance the underlying muscle and tissue for a more dramatic result. It can also be combined with liposuction for a slimmer and more athletic look. Depending on your desired outcome, we can recommend either a full or mini tummy tuck. Both procedures require a lengthy recovery period, with drains in place if your doctor has inserted them. You’ll need someone to drive you home after the surgery, and you will experience some pain, bruising and numbness in the weeks or months following.


Associate Professor Dean White
The Avani Building, Suite 1, Level 1/12 Nelson Rd, Box Hill VIC 3128
(03) 9895 7631



Common Types Of Foot Infections And How To Treat Them

If you have scaly, peeling skin between your toes or yellowish, thickened nails that itch, you may have a fungal infection. Infections of the skin and nails, called tinea pedis or onychomycosis, are usually mildly contagious and respond well to over-the-counter antifungal medicines.

Infections in the foot can be serious and should always be seen by podiatrist. They can result in amputation, cellulitis or bone infection (osteomyelitis).

1. Bacterial Infections

Bacteria are microscopic single-cell microorganisms that live in the body and in many of the things we come into contact with. Bacteria can cause a wide range of infections in different parts of the body. Infections caused by bacteria can be either acute or chronic.

Acute bacterial infections may be very painful. They may also be contagious. Bacteria can be passed from person to person by direct skin-to-skin or mucous membrane contact, through airborne or droplet transmission, or by vectors like ticks and mosquitoes. Infections can also be spread from contaminated inanimate objects like food or water.

Most of the time, bacteria are harmless. They help digest our food, destroy disease-causing cells, and provide the body with essential vitamins. They are also used to make yogurt and cheese. Pathogenic bacteria, however, are dangerous. They can reproduce quickly in the body, and some produce poisons that damage tissues and cause symptoms of illness.

When harmful bacteria enter the body, they can trigger an overwhelming inflammatory response that overwhelms the white blood cells and causes sepsis. Sepsis can be life threatening or even deadly. When a patient has signs of infection, he or she should see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Serious bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics, which kill or stop the growth of bacteria. Doctors prescribe antibiotics that are specific to the type of bacteria causing the infection. They can be taken orally (by pill, liquid, or injection), by drops or ointment, or through the veins via intravenous (IV) therapy.

2. Fungal Infections

Many people suffer from fungal infections that affect the skin or nails of the feet. Some are mild and easily treated at home, while others may cause pain, swelling, oozing or blisters that require medical attention. These infections can also spread into the bloodstream and are serious for people with diabetes or a compromised immune system.

Fungus infections of the foot often occur when your feet are kept damp, for example in wet environments such as locker rooms, public showers and swimming pools or through direct contact with an infected person’s feet. This can lead to athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) or toenail fungus (onychomycosis). Fungus infections of the feet are typically scaly, flaky and itchy and may appear red, purple, white, yellow or gray. They can also cause nail discoloration and thinning.

Athlete’s foot can be prevented by wearing breathable footwear and changing socks frequently, avoiding walking barefoot on contaminated surfaces, washing your feet daily with soap and water and using antifungal powder or spray to keep the skin dry. See a doctor if you experience swollen, hot, painful feet with swelling or oozing and your infection doesn’t improve after a few days of self-care treatment. Cellulitis, another bacterial infection of the feet, requires antibiotics and should be addressed immediately. If you are diabetic or have a compromised immune system, your foot infection should be monitored closely by a medical professional.

3. Wound Infections

Infections with the feet often begin due to foot injuries like cuts, blisters, or wounds. These injuries allow bacteria to enter the skin and cause infections. Foot infections are characterized by symptoms such as pain, swelling, and redness of the affected area. The occurrence of these symptoms indicates the presence of infection in the foot and needs immediate medical attention. Depending on the type of infection, the symptoms will vary. In some cases, the symptoms can also be mistaken for inflammation, such as arthritis, tendinitis, or bursitis. Nonetheless, the conditions should be treated separately because they have different treatments and can lead to different outcomes.

Some foot infections are mild and can be treated at home, such as fungal infections. However, others can spread into the bloodstream, causing serious complications. This is particularly true of bacterial infections.

If you have a foot infection that causes severe swelling, heat, redness, and a foul odor, you should seek immediate medical attention. These signs indicate that the infection is spreading rapidly and could be dangerous. If the infection is not treated quickly, it can reach deeper layers of your skin and bone and even enter your bloodstream, causing blood poisoning or septicemia.

4. Osteomyelitis

Acute and chronic infections that involve bone are called osteomyelitis. The infection may start in the bloodstream or spread from skin and tissue next to a bone, such as from a wound or injury. It can also begin in a bone itself, such as the hip bones (pelvis) or spinal vertebrae. It can cause serious complications, such as blood poisoning and bone abscesses. Smokers and people with certain health conditions, such as diabetes or kidney disease, are at higher risk of developing this type of infection.

Fungal infections of the feet, including tinea pedis and onychomycosis, are caused by fungi that live on the top layers of skin and in the nail bed. These fungi thrive in warm, moist conditions and can easily spread from person to person when they share the same shoes or socks. These infections are common and can be easily prevented by keeping the feet clean and dry and checking them frequently for any abrasions or cuts that need to be washed, bandaged and treated immediately.

Infections can be very serious and should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. Contact podiatrist Balwyn North at the first sign of pain, redness, warmth and swelling. Infections that are left untreated can spread to the lymph nodes and bloodstream, causing a life-threatening condition known as cellulitis.