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Panniculus by definition is the redundant skin and soft tissue of the abdomen, resulting from massive weight loss.The term "ectomy" means excision or removal. Thus Panniculectomy means excision of the panniculus.

Panniculectomy and Abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”) are closely related and may be confused. While Abdominoplasty is designed to smooth out a protruding abdomen, Panniculectomy is intended to correct excessive hanging of the abdominal fatty tissue to a point where the panniculus covers the pubis or below, often causing a chronic rash and irritation in the pubic area because of moisture and friction. The extensive hanging of the panniculus also results in lower back pain.

However, Panniculectomy can be combined with Abdominoplasty if the umbilicus needs to be relocated or the condition of the upper abdominal wall needs to be improved. It can also be combined with tightening of the abdominal wall muscles which become loose and inactive due to lack of abdominal wall exercises or pregnancy.

The procedure is preferably performed in a hospital setting with overnight hospital stay. Normally, drains are placed for a period of two weeks. Patients can resume normal activities within three to six weeks.

Panniculectomy is covered by most health insurance policies if the patient has lost over one hundred pounds and has maintained weight loss for over one year.

Before and After Gallery - Abdominoplasty/Panniculectomy

Zareh H. Vartivarian, MD

Plastic Surgeon located in San Fernando Valley, West Hills, CA

Since 1988, Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship trained Dr. Zareh H. Vartivarian has provided patients with a variety of cosmetic services at his West Hills practice. Dr. Vartivarian has operated on over 10,000 patients and is highly regarded by his colleagues and patients. He is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which is dedicated to meeting the highest standards of patient well-being and surgical excellence. This certifying board is the only one nationally recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to certify the plastic surgery specialty.

With his extensive surgical training (below), Dr. Vartivarian has the skills and experience necessary to achieve the best possible, natural-looking outcome. As his countless satisfied patients attest, his outstanding attention to detail and his critical eye consistently produce superior results. Patients learn, on meeting Dr. Vartivarian, that he is affable, genuine, and possesses great honesty and integrity. In his capable hands, you can be confident that you will emerge with a renewed sense of self and a more positive outlook on life.


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Zareh Vartivarian, MD
7320 Woodlake Ave.
Suite 220
West Hills, CA 91307