Pannus Stomach Support: What You Need to Know
What is a Pannus Stomach?
A pannus is a medical term that describes an accumulation of excess lower abdominal skin and adipose tissue, commonly known as fat. This condition manifests as a hanging fold or flap, often referred to as an "abdominal apron" due to its appearance.
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Located in the lower abdominal area, a pannus can extend downward, affecting the pelvic bone and even extending over the thighs and pubic area.
The formation of a pannus often occurs due to various factors such as obesity, significant weight loss, or pregnancy.
Excessive weight gain can result in the body accumulating more adipose tissue, particularly in the abdominal wall. This leads to the stretching of the skin over time.
In cases of substantial weight loss or post-surgery scenarios, the skin may not fully retract, resulting in the presence of a pannus.
How Does a Pannus Stomach Support Help with Excess Skin?
A pannus stomach support, commonly known as a pannus binder, is a specially designed garment made to offer comfortable support to the excess skin and fat—referred to as a pannus—that hangs from the lower abdomen.
The support is usually made of stretchable, breathable materials that snugly fit around the abdominal area to provide compression and stabilisation.
For someone dealing with a pannus, this stomach support can offer multiple benefits, especially when it comes to managing excess skin:
✅ Reducing Discomfort: The pannus binder helps distribute the weight of the excess skin more evenly across the abdominal wall. This can alleviate some of the discomfort and strain that the extra weight might cause on the lower back and pelvic bone.
✅ Mitigating Skin Irritation: By holding the excess skin in place, the binder reduces friction between the pannus and the surrounding skin or fabric. This can prevent chafing and skin irritation, which is especially beneficial if you're engaging in physical activity.
✅ Improving Mobility: The support provided by the pannus binder can make it easier to move around, perform daily activities, and exercise. The compressed pannus is less likely to interfere with your range of motion, allowing you to lead a more active lifestyle.
✅ Hygiene and Wound Healing: Keeping the excess skin compressed can make it easier to maintain hygiene in the abdominal area. This is crucial for avoiding bacterial or fungal infections and facilitating any wound healing processes, particularly post-surgery or after applying anti-chafing creams.
✅ Aesthetic Benefits: While not a replacement for cosmetic surgery options like abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) or massive panniculectomy, a pannus stomach support can offer a temporary aesthetic improvement by making the pannus less visible under clothing.
By helping manage these challenges associated with excess skin, a pannus stomach support can improve the quality of daily life for individuals with a pannus.
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Physical and Emotional Implications of a Pannus Stomach
Skin Irritation: Friction between the pannus and surrounding skin can lead to chafing, redness, and soreness.
Fungal Infections: Moisture accumulation in the folds of the pannus can create an environment conducive to fungal growth, causing infections like candidiasis.
Bacterial Infections: Bacteria can thrive in warm and damp conditions under the pannus, leading to infections that require medical treatment.
Limited Mobility: The weight and bulk of the pannus can restrict movement and agility, affecting daily activities and exercise.
Hygiene Challenges: Maintaining proper hygiene becomes difficult due to limited access to the area beneath the pannus.
Musculoskeletal Strain: The extra weight of the pannus can strain the muscles, ligaments, and joints, contributing to discomfort and pain.
Breathing Difficulties: A large pannus might press against the diaphragm, making deep breathing and respiratory function less efficient.
Heat and Sweating: The pannus can trap heat and sweat, causing discomfort and exacerbating other skin issues.
Interference with Clothing: The pannus can interfere with the fit of clothing, causing discomfort and making it challenging to find appropriate attire.
Impaired Posture: Compensation for the weight of the pannus can lead to poor posture and related discomfort in the back and shoulders.
Confidence and Self-Esteem
An abdominal apron can be a significant source of discomfort and insecurity, affecting an individual's confidence and self-esteem.
Weight gain or other factors like pregnancy may have led to the development of excess skin in the abdominal area.
This physical change may trigger feelings of low self-esteem, especially when abdominal muscles are hidden beneath the pannus, leading some to seek cosmetic surgery or a tummy tuck as a solution.
The impact on self-esteem is often a crucial point in the patient's medical history.
Intimacy and Relationships
The presence of a pannus can have detrimental effects on intimacy and relationships.
Concerns over the appearance of the abdominal area may lead to avoidance of physical intimacy, affecting both romantic and sexual relationships. Patients may find it beneficial to consider surgical procedures, such as abdominoplasty, not only for the sake of appearance but for improving their quality of life in relationships.
Body Image Dissatisfaction
Dissatisfaction with body image can escalate when dealing with a pannus.
The weight and excess lower abdominal skin skin around the lower abdomen can restrict daily activities, leading to a negative cycle of weight gain and low physical activity.
Limited Wardrobe Choices
Restricted clothing choices due to a pannus can impact emotional well-being.
The struggle to find comfortable support for an abdominal pannus can lead to avoidance of certain clothing styles, contributing to body dissatisfaction. Overweight individuals may find that their wardrobe limits their ability to exercise, further exacerbating health risks and emotional stress.
What is a Pannus Support Made of?
A pannus binder is generally crafted from soft, breathable, and stretchable materials like nylon and spandex.
These materials are chosen to manage sweat and promote airflow, keeping the skin drier and less susceptible to rashes.
The fabric's moisture-wicking properties and the binder's adjustable fasteners make for a customisable and comfortable fit.
Does a Pannus Support Strengthen Abdominal Muscles?
A pannus support does not actually strengthen abdominal muscles.
While it provides relief by offering support to the excess skin and adipose tissue, the binder's main functions are to improve comfort, reduce skin irritation, and assist with mobility. The extra weight from a pannus can put strain on muscles, ligaments, and joints in the abdominal area. However, targeted exercise regimes, possibly post-surgery or in combination with weight loss strategies, can help improve muscle tone in the abdominal area.
Can a Pannus Support Help with Weight Loss?
While a pannus support does not directly affect weight gain or loss, it can make physical activity easier, which could contribute to weight management when combined with a balanced diet.
What are The Different Pannus Binder Sizes?
Pannus binders generally come in a range of sizes to accommodate various body types and proportions. The specific sizes available can vary depending on the manufacturer and the brand of the binder. Common size options typically include small, medium, large, and extra-large.
How to Know What Size Suits
To determine the appropriate size, individuals usually measure their waist or hip circumference and consult the sizing chart provided by the binder manufacturer. It's important to select a size that offers a snug yet comfortable fit to effectively provide support and compression to the pannus area.
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The Adaptive Clothing Australia Team