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Gynecol Oncol. 1998 Jul;70(1):80-6.

Panniculectomy: a useful technique for the obese patient undergoing gynecological surgery.

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  • 1Department of Gynecological Oncology, Mercy Hospital for Women, East Melbourne, Australia.



To establish the safety and efficacy of panniculectomy at the time of surgery for benign and malignant gynecological disease.


Retrospective review of the course of 57 patients undergoing radical gynecological surgery and panniculectomy between January 1992 and January 1997 at the Mercy Hospital for Women, Melbourne. Data were collected regarding indication for treatment, operative details, and complications of surgery.


Of 57 patients in the study, 32 had a primary gynecological malignancy, 11 had benign gynecological disease, 3 had cervical dysplasia, 5 had endometrial hyperplasia, and the remaining 6 had incisional hernia repair. The mean age of patients was 55 years with a mean weight of 101 kg (range 70-145 kg). The mean operative time was 2 h 24 min, and blood transfusion was undertaken in 23 (41%) patients. Four (7.1%) individuals had a minor wound infection and 3 (5.4%) a moderate wound infection. One patient experienced a nonfatal pulmonary embolus and 2 patients experienced a deep vein thrombosis. There were no postoperative deaths. Long term, 6 patients developed an incisional hernia.


Panniculectomy is a useful technique in obese patients. It improves surgical access facilitating radical surgery and is cosmetically pleasing to the patient. It has acceptable morbidity when compared to conventional midline vertical or transverse incisions in comparable populations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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