REAL Self Questions & Answers by E. Ronald Finger MD.
Does a tummy tuck include the panniculectomy? Or are these two separate surgeries?
A tummy tuck does include a panniculectomy, however, a panniculectomy may not include a full tummy tuck. A panniculectomy simply means to excise (surgically remove) the apron of skin that generally results from weight loss.
PANNICULECTOMY SIMPLY MEANS THE REMOVAL OF EXCESS SKIN
With a tummy tuck, all of the abdominal wall skin and underlying subcutaneous fat are elevated from the underlying fascia of the muscles up to the rib cage, with the exception of the umbilicus. That entire flap of tissue is brought downward and the excess is removed. The umbilicus is brought through another surgically created hole in the abdominal wall skin and then sutured in place. Also in virtually every tummy tuck the rectus muscles are sutured together to create an internal corset.
Regarding a tummy tuck, I preferred the No-drain Tummy Tuck as the recovery time and discomfort postoperatively are minimized, and the patient isn’t encumbered with drains.
The recovery time still is a little longer than a panniculectomy because of the underlying suturing together of the muscles. This is called correction of the rectus diastasis.