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Complications of Abdominoplasty in 86 Patients

van Uchelen, Jeroen H. M.D.; Werker, Paul M. N. M.D., Ph.D.; Kon, Moshe M.D., Ph.D.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: June 2001
Cosmetic: PDF Only

A total of 101 consecutive abdominoplasty patients were reviewed retrospectively. Of these, 14 male (mean age at time of operation, 34.3 years; range, 23 to 53 years) and 72 female (mean age at time of operation, 38.9 years; range, 19 to 64 years) patients had adequate documentation for inclusion in this study.

Complications were recorded as either wound complications (wound infection, partial wound dehiscence, seroma, hematoma, and skin edge necrosis) or complications after surgery (deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary emboli, ileus, sensibility disorder of the skin of the thighs, and death). The complications were subsequently correlated for sex, race, the patient's age at surgery, body mass index before surgery, and the seniority of the surgeon.

Nine male patients (64.3 percent) and 11 female patients (15.3 percent) had wound complications. Almost 10 percent of our patients sustained an injury to the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh.

Male patients should be informed about their possible higher risk of complications, and special attention must be given by the surgeon to the prevention of such complications.

Moreover, specific attention must be given to the preservation of the lateral cutaneous nerves of the thigh in both male and female patients undergoing abdominoplasties. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 107: 1869, 2001.)

From the Department of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Hand Surgery, Division of Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht, and the Department of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Hand Surgery, Isala Klinieken. Received for publication September 21, 2000; revised November 15, 2000.

Moshe Kon, M.D., Ph.D. Department of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Hand Surgery University Medical Center Utrecht Room number G 04. 122 PO Box 85500 3508 GA Utrecht The Netherlandsm.kon@chir.azu.nl

©2001American Society of Plastic Surgeons