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Typically for obese patients, panniculectomy involves removal of skin and fat below the umbilicus (navel or bellybutton) to improve hygiene, help with yeast-type rashes, poor mobility, etc. No tightening of the muscles (fascia) is performed.

Typically patients are observed in the hospital for 1-5 days, depending on their other medical problems. The procedure takes 3 to 5 hours. Drains are placed at the time of surgery, which may remain in place for up to a month, depending on the drainage which is often related to the amount of tissue removed.

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