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Am J Surg. 2014 Mar;207(3):441-4; discussion 444. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2013.09.010. Epub 2013 Dec 19.

Massive panniculectomy results in improved functional outcome.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, IL, USA.
  • 2Department of General Surgery, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, IL, USA. Electronic address: jdebord@peoriasurgical.com.



Panniculus morbidus is a large abdominal apron found in morbidly obese patients. This condition creates a vicious cycle of weight gain and functional incapacity. Our study assessed the functional improvement in patients undergoing massive panniculectomy.


A retrospective review of panniculectomies performed from 1994 to 2012 was conducted. Twenty-seven patients with resections >20 lbs were selected. Data on demographics, operative details, complications, and pre- and postoperative functional capacity (using the Steinbrocker Functional Classification) were collected.


The preoperative mean body mass index was 58 kg/m(2), with a mean resection weight of 33 lbs. The overall complication rate was 74%. A statistically significant improvement in functional capacity (preop mean 3.7 vs postop mean 2.0; P < .0001) was identified.


Panniculus morbidus is a functionally debilitating condition and massive panniculectomy is often the only treatment available. Our data suggest that massive panniculectomy is a viable option for patients functionally incapacitated by panniculus morbidus.

Published by Elsevier Inc.


Functional capacity; Massive panniculectomy; Obesity; Panniculus morbidus

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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