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Is It Safe to Combine Abdominoplasty with Elective Breast Surgery? A Review of 151 Consecutive Cases

Stevens, W Grant M.D.; Cohen, Robert M.D.; Vath, Steven D. M.D.; Stoker, David A. M.D.; Hirsch, Elliot M. B.A.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: July 2006 - Volume 118 - Issue 1 - p 207-212
doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000220529.03298.42
Cosmetic: Original Articles

Background: This study was designed to evaluate and compare the complication rates of patients having abdominoplasty without breast surgery with the rates of those having abdominoplasty with various types of elective breast surgery, including breast augmentation, breast reduction, mastopexy, and mastopexy combined with simultaneous augmentation.

Methods: The data collected represent a retrospective chart review of consecutive abdominoplasty procedures performed at a single outpatient facility by the senior surgeon (W.G.S.) over a 15-year period (1989 to 2004). Two groups were compared: patients who underwent abdominoplasty without breast surgery and those who had abdominoplasty with breast surgery. The second group was subdivided by the various types of breast procedures noted above. The minor complications assessed included seromas, hematomas, infections, and small (<5 cm) wound breakdowns. Major complications evaluated included large (>5 cm) flap necrosis, need for blood transfusion, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolus, myocardial infarction, and death. Additional data compiled included age, sex, tobacco use, body mass index, past medical history, American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status level, and operative times.

Results: Of the 415 abdominoplasty procedures, 264 (group 1) did not include simultaneous breast surgery. One hundred fifty-one procedures (group 2) involved simultaneous breast surgery, representing 36 percent of the total. Group 2 was further subdivided into those who had breast augmentation surgery (group 2A, n = 50), those who had breast reduction surgery (group 2B, n = 31), those who had mastopexy surgery (group 2C, n = 28), and those who had simultaneous mastopexy and breast augmentation surgery (group 2D, n = 42). Removal and replacement of implants and capsulectomy/capsulotomy procedures were included in the augmentation group (group 2A). There were no major complications, including flap necrosis (open wound >5 cm), blood transfusions, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolus, myocardial infarction, or death. No patients required hospitalization. No statistically significant associations with complications were noted between groups 1 and 2 (chi-square, 0.0045; p > 0.95, not significant). Furthermore, when subdivided by type of breast surgery, no statistically significant associations were noted among subgroups: group 1 versus 2A (chi-square, 0.96; p > 0.05, not significant), group 1 versus 2B (chi-square, 0.032; p > 0.9, not significant), group 1 versus 2C (chi-square, 0.003; p > 0.975, not significant), and group 1 versus 2D (chi-square, 0.83; p > 0.5, not significant).

Conclusion: The results of this retrospective review indicate that combining elective breast surgery with abdominoplasty does not appear to significantly increase the number of major or minor complications.

Marina Del Rey and Los Angeles, Calif.

From the Marina Plastic Surgery Associates and the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California.

Received for publication April 23, 2005; accepted June 6, 2005.

W. Grant Stevens, M.D., 4644 Lincoln Boulevard, Suite 552, Marina del Rey, Calif. 90292,

©2006American Society of Plastic Surgeons