Sterling Plastic Surgery

Learn about our Special of the Month

Woman with Measuring Tape Around Her Middle

Understanding a Panniculectomy vs. an Abdominoplasty

A common question from many of our clients following significant weight loss is whether they would benefit from a panniculectomy or an abdominoplasty. While the nuances between the two can be confusing, the basic difference between a panniculectomy and an abdominoplasty can be summed up by the design principle of form vs. function. In this case, a panniculectomy is function, whereas an abdominoplasty is cosmetic.

While both improve an individual’s appearance after significant weight loss and the procedures themselves are quite similar, the purposes for electing either a panniculectomy or abdominoplasty are markedly different.

Why You Might Need a Panniculectomy

As defined by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “The goal of panniculectomy surgery is to remove hanging skin and fat from the lower abdomen to create a smoother abdominal contour. A panniculectomy differs from a tummy tuck in that the abdominal muscles are typically not tightened during a panniculectomy.”

So, where does this excess skin come from?

Common culprits for the development of excess skin and fat include:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Massive weight loss
  • Pregnancy
  • Prior surgery(ies)

Despite these factors, a panniculectomy can make a real difference in the overall appearance and feel of the abdominal wall.

Why an Abdominoplasty Might Be Appropriate

Compared to a panniculectomy, an abdominoplasty is designed to address less severe symptoms of sagging and excess skin due to extra pounds. Also known as a tummy tuck, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons explains that an abdominoplasty “removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.”

In other words, the end goal is an enhanced appearance. This is ideal even for those who have a healthy body weight, but have been unable to achieve their desired results through exercise and diet alone. An abdominoplasty might be the answer if you fit this criteria.

Some of the obstacles to achieving a smooth, firm abdomen are:

  • Age
  • Fluctuation in weight
  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Prior surgery(ies)

Electing an abdominoplasty combats the effects of the above issues, leaving patients with an improved abdominal appearance.

As with any plastic surgery procedure, your doctor will consult and diagnose whether a panniculectomy or abdominoplasty is right for you. If you’re ready to shape your body to your needs, please contact us today to schedule your consultation.

Continue Reading
Black and White Adult Woman in a Bra

Can I Get Breast Implants Without Getting a Breast Lift?

The short answer? Absolutely.

Many women get breast implants without needing a breast lift, also known as a mastopexy. As with all plastic surgery matters, the decision is a personal one. However, some doctors might recommend a breast lift in order to realize better results for their patients. If so, a breast lift will likely be discussed as an option either during or following the breast implant procedure. The timing is somewhat irrelevant as a mastopexy performed during or post-augmentation delivers the same results.

Continue Reading

Skin Care Products: Facts & Fairytales

Everywhere you look, magazines, television, radio you are struck with a barrage of advertising for products that imply miraculous results. Advertising can mislead the consumer into purchasing a product that can never deliver by using phrases such as “diminishes the visual signs of . . . ” or “reduces the appearance of . . .” These phrases do nothing more than imply and most consumers believe. The consumer purchases the product, uses it as directed and once again, they are disappointed when the results fall short of the expectations that they had, based on the product’s advertising hype.

Continue Reading

The World’s Best Wrinkle Cream: Topical Vitamin A

Topical Vitamin A is the World’s Best Wrinkle Cream

Well before Explorer Ponce de Leon set out for his quest to discover the Fountain of Youth, people have been searching for a way to stave off the effects of aging. If only Ponce de Leon could have lived in the early 1970’s, he would have seen FDA approval of Tretinoin, a prescription strength topical Vitamin A in 1971 and perhaps would have been content that the fountain of youth may very well come in a tube.

Continue Reading

Plastic surgery: ‘Wild West’ of medicine

(CNN) — Martha* had decided to undergo a breast augmentation. She researched doctors and found one she thought was well-qualified; ads in magazines touted him as board-certified and a top plastic surgeon in the area.

Martha met with him for a consultation and underwent the procedure in his office several weeks later. But at home that night, she discovered a shocking sight:

Her breast implants were lodged in her armpits.

The next morning, she rushed back to her doctor's office. He inspected her chest and, with a quizzical look on his face, declared, "I have never seen this before."

Continue Reading

Schedule a Consultation

If you decide that you would like to seriously consider surgery then you will be able to schedule a formal consultation to meet with Dr. Sterling and finalize your surgical plan.... contact us here

Contact Us

Special of the Month

We offer a variety of monthly specials... Check out our current monthly specials

View Our Specials

Get in Touch


Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Dr. Daniel A. Sterling, MD, FACS
Telephone: 603.518.5450
Fax: 603.518.5856
Address: 2 Washington Place, Bedford, NH 03110

Social Media


Hospital Affiliations

Staff: Bedford Ambulatory Surgical Center Bedford, NH - 2012- present

Staff: Elliot Hospital Manchester, NH - 2005-present, Chief of Plastic Surgery

Staff: Southern New Hampshire Medical Center Nashua, NH - 2016-present

Payment Options

Care Credit


Blue Cross Blue Shield