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Plastic Surgery/abdominal weight


I am a candidate for a panniculectomy. My question is, why is it better for someone to get a full tummy tuck? Paying out of pocket for it is expensive whereas insurance will pay for the panni. Which leads me to my second question: I have fat in my upper torso, not just my abdomen. I went to one surgeon who is not board certified in plastic surgery and he said he could remove the abdominal fat and then said snidely "I can't do anything about THAT" pointing to the fat above the abdomen. I was there for a consult for a panniculectomy. Can't I get liposuction in that area?
Can a person get a pan. and have the upper fat removed as well? This is all so confusing. Obviously I do not yet have a doctor lined up. Thank you.

These are great questions and the confusion is understandable. Please let me start by encouraging you to seek a board certified or board eligible plastic surgeon who has had the appropriate training. Also, it is important for you to feel comfortable with the choice of provider because there is a level of trust that should exist prior to embarking on surgery of any kind. Panniculectomy means excess skin and fat is removed and sometimes this is covered by insurance companies with prior-authorization and the proper documentation. An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, addresses not only the skin and fat, but the separation of the abdominal muscles as well. Often a tummy tuck also involves an additional scar around the belly button. Liposuction is an adjunct that can be added on to either a panniculectomy or a tummy tuck, but this is considered cosmetic and will not be covered by insurance. Your surgeon should also talk to you about safety in terms of combining liposuction with either of these surgical procedures. Some patients will have a combination surgery whereby part is covered by insurance and part is not. I wish you the best of luck with your decision and your future.

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Dr. Audrey Klenke


Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Audrey Klenke and her team provide advanced healthcare for people seeking reconstructive or cosmetic surgery to enhance their well-being. We understand that living well includes feeling good about the way you look. As Beaufort County’s only female plastic surgeon, Dr. Audrey Klenke offers a unique perspective, driven by modern perceptions of aesthetics. She views cosmetic surgery as a natural part of a healthy lifestyle. Pinnacle Plastic Surgery also offers a state-of-the-art medical spa, where your vision is our inspiration. Our Licensed Esthetician specializes in age-defying treatments, and our Certified Permanent Makeup Artist provides medical tattoo services including eyebrows, eyeliner, lips, 3-D nipple/areola restoration and more. Whether you’re looking for fabulous quick fixes, like Botox® and Juvederm®, or time-honored surgical procedures, like facelift and tummy tuck, our goal is to help you look your best at any age.


Dr. Klenke completed her plastic surgery residency training program at the University of Cincinnati, where she served as the Chief Administrative Resident in the Division of Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery. She is a published writer in the fields of breast cancer, non-surgical options and facial contouring.

American Medical Association, Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce

Care Magazine, FIT Magazine, The Island Packet and The Bluffton Sun

*Chief Administrative Resident: University of Cincinnati Division of Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery *Doctor of Medicine: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine *BA in Biopsychology: Vassar College

Awards and Honors
*The Island News Favorites (2015) *WTOC Best of the Lowcountry (2015) *The Island Packet Readers’ Choice Awards (2014/2015) *Best of Bluffton (2014/2015) *Sun Today Select (2014/2015) *Hilton Head Monthly's Reader's Choice Awards (2014)

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