Photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) is an emerging computed imaging modality that exploits optical contrast and ultrasonic detection principles to form images of the absorbed optical energy density within tissue. If the object possesses spatially variant acoustic properties that are unaccounted for by the reconstruction method, the estimated image can contain distortions. While reconstruction methods have recently been developed to compensate for this effect, they generally require the object’s acoustic properties to be known a priori. To circumvent the need for detailed information regarding an object’s acoustic properties, we previously proposed a half-time reconstruction method for PACT. A half-time reconstruction method estimates the PACT image from a data set that has been temporally truncated to exclude the data components that have been strongly aberrated. However, this method can be improved upon when the approximate sizes and locations of isolated heterogeneous structures, such as bones or gas pockets, are known. To address this, we investigate PACT reconstruction methods that are based on a variable data truncation (VDT) approach. The VDT approach represents a generalization of the half-time approach, in which the degree of temporal truncation for each measurement is determined by the distance between the corresponding ultrasonic transducer location and the nearest known bone or gas void location. Computer-simulated and experimental data are employed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach in mitigating artifacts due to acoustic heterogeneities.