Characteristics of a panniculus include a fatty composition and sheet-like distribution, according to MedicineNet. As the name suggests, the common type, known as abdominal panniculus adiposus, occurs in the abdominal area.
Most people with abdominal panniculus are obese, or they were obese or pregnant but have since lost weight, notes EmpowHer. Depending on the severity, a panniculus can sag below the knees. However, the lowest-grade panniculus is less extreme, extending only to the pubic hair.
A panniculus can make it difficult for the sufferer to find clothes that fit properly, and it can interfere with sex and hygiene, explains EmpowHer. A surgery known as a panniculectomy reduces the panniculus, explains MedicineNet.