Medical Definition of Panniculus

Panniculus: a sheet or layer of tissue. The term panniculus is most commonly used in the lay press to refer to an abdominal panniculus adiposus, a sheet of fat tissue that is present in the lower abdominal area. An abdominal panniculus may be seen with obesity, following pregnancy, or after significant weight loss. In severe cases, the fat layer may appear to hang or be suspended and reach the level of the knees or lower. An operation termed a panniculectomy (a kind of abdominoplasty) is designed to remove part of this fat tissue.

REFERENCE: Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Last Editorial Review: 6/9/2016

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