Background: According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery's 2004 Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank, during the last 7 years, the number of abdominoplasty procedures performed has increased 344 percent. A national report on abdominoplasty has not been since 1977. Grazer and Goldwyn's study reflects the preliposuction era of abdominal contouring surgery. The purpose of this study was to assess current trends in abdominal contouring techniques and associated procedures and the incidence of their complications.
Methods: The study was designed as a descriptive correlation survey evaluating the frequency of various abdominal contour techniques and complications among 3300 randomly chosen members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. There were 497 respondents, for a response rate of 15 percent.
Results: A total of 20,029 procedures were reported in the survey; 35 percent (n = 7010) were liposuction of the abdomen, 10 percent (n = 2003) were limited abdominoplasties, and 55 percent (n = 11,016) were full abdominoplasties. Survey data covered the plastic surgeon's demographics, techniques, and incidence of complications during a 12-month period.
Conclusions: The authors report the largest series of local and systemic complication rates and compare them with those of previously published abdominoplasty surveys. With respect to full abdominoplasty, lower complication rates for deep vein thrombosis (0.04 percent) and pulmonary embolus (0.02 percent) were seen. No deaths were reported. There was no correlation between a surgeon's years in practice and complication rates, in concordance with the earlier study by Grazer and Goldwyn. Despite more extensive abdominal contouring techniques and the addition of liposuction to abdominal contouring, the local and systemic complication rates coincided with previous complication rates, as outlined in other studies.