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Plastic Surgery/panniculectomy


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.

The advantage of a full abdominoplasty is that in addition to removing the excess lower abdominal skin and fat, the upper abdomen is also contoured with tightening of the muscles and proper repositioning of the the belly button.

Many surgeons also do additional liposuction of the upper abdomen in conjunction with both panniculactomy and abdominoplasty, although there is some concern regarding possible added risk of combining these procedures.  In general, if the liposuction is conservative and done with proper tumescent technique, the combination seems safe.

Regarding the issue of Board Certification in Plastic Surgery, that is only one of many criteria you should use in selecting a surgeon.  Board Certification in Cosmetic Surgery may offer better assurance of competence in cosmetic procedures and, more recently, bariatric surgeons who are normally certified in General Surgery have been offering panniculectomy.  Plastic Surgery certification alone is no assurance that the surgeon has competence and experience in any specific operation.

Howard Tobin MD FACS

Plastic Surgery

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Howard Tobin MD FACS


I can answer questions related to Cosmetic Surgery. I cannot answer questions related to reconstruction, burn treatment, cleft palate surgery or traumatic surgery. My practice is, and has been for 36 years, limited to Cosmetic Surgery. For further information, go to


As mentioned above, I have exclusively practiced cosmetic surgery for over 36 years. My practice encompases all aspects of cosmetic surgery

American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (past president) American Society of Liposuction Surgery (past president) Cosmetic Surgical Society of Texas (past president) Fellow American College of Surgeons Texas Medical Association see cv on website for further details

Seventy three published articles. see cv on website for further details

Graduate of Princeton University and Baylor College of Medicine Internship - University of Virginia Residency - Baylor Medical College Affiliated Residencies Fellowship - University of Cincinnati see cv on website for further details

Awards and Honors
American Medical Association - Physician's Recognition Award; 1969- present American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Honor Award, October, 1983 American Board of Cosmetic Surgery - Certificate of Appreciation - 1987 American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery - Best presentation at 1987 annual meeting: "Revision Mammaplasty with Replicon Prosthesis" Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Healthcare Certificate of Appreciation 1989-90 American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Honor Award for distinguished service, 1989 American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Appreciation Award for authorship of monograph on outpatient surgery , 1993 Certificate of Excellence in Continuing Medical Education in Cosmetic Surgery, 1993 - American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. International Academy of Aesthetic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine - Honor Award, 1994 American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery - Recognition plaque following term of Presidency - 1995 Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Healthcare Special Citation of Appreciation for Service; November 1996 International Academy of Aesthetic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine - Appointed honorary North American President, 1995 1997 American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery: Award for excellence in cosmetic surgery; Jan 2003 Cosmetic Surgical Society of Texas Appreciation Award for Leadership; 2004 Honorary Member Mexican Academy of Cosmetic Surgery 2007

Past/Present Clients
A past sponsor of the Miss Texas USA pageant, he has also served as a judge for this and other pageants. His patients include many pageant contestants and winners up to the Miss Universe title

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