I had my tummy tuck in March 2012 -- and have not regretted it for a minute.
I lost 130 pounds and was wearing a size 10 jeans before my surgery --- size 8 now.
My pannis was not huge, but it bothered ME.
My surgeon did a hip to hip incision at the bikini line, removed the excess skin, tightened the muscles underneath, lifted my mons, gave me a new belly button.
He uses a suturing technique that is 'drain-less', and I had an out-patient procedure in a fully accredited surgical center. I went home with a pain-pump (it is a drip system that gives you anesthetic in your incision for 48 - 72 hours -- then, when it is empty, you pull it out ---- it was wonderful.
I have a flat tummy and I love, love, love it.
It IS major surgery --- I was out of commission for about 4 days (no driving, not leaving the house), then on limited activity for about 4 days -- and then back at work at day 8.
I would ask the doc to explain the type of surgery he would perform on you (at my consult, the nurse took pictures -- and then had me go watch a video about 'Body contouring' while the doctor worked with the pictures --- then, I saw the doc and he showed me what my Before/After pics would be like and he explained all about the procedure.