The number of abdominoplasties performed in the United States has been steadily increasing over the past decade. A large proportion of these patients are bariatric patients who remain obese despite prior weight-reduction surgery. This study was done to review the experience of patients undergoing abdominoplasty at a university hospital. A retrospective chart review of 206 consecutive patients was performed. The overall complication rate was 37.4%. Major complications [hematoma requiring surgical intervention, seroma requiring aspiration or surgical drainage, cellulitis or abscess requiring hospitalization and intravenous (IV) antibiotics, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism (PE)] occurred in 16% of patients. The rate of minor complications (hematoma or seroma requiring no intervention, epidermolysis, small-wound dehiscence, neuropathic pain, and minor cellulitis) was 26.7%. Obese patients had a significantly increased risk of developing major complications as compared with nonobese patients (53.4% versus 28.8%, P = 0.001). An in-depth analysis of all complications and risk factors was done.
A retrospective review of 206 abdominoplasties demonstrated 16% major and 26% minor complications. Bariatric patients had a significantly higher rate of major complications.
From the Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, School of Medicine, Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, OR.
Received May 30, 2006, and accepted for publication, after revision, July 19, 2006.
Reprints: Juliana E. Hansen, MD, Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, School of Medicine, Oregon Health and Sciences University, 3121 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, L352A, Portland, OR 97239. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.