Abdominoplasty is one of the most commonly performed aesthetic procedures. In our practice, it has recently shifted toward outpatient care as the standard. In this study, the authors investigated the difference in short-term complications in outpatient and inpatient procedures in an office-based surgery clinic.
A total of 69 consecutive abdominoplasty patients from a plastic surgeon's office-based surgery clinic were reviewed retrospectively. Of these, there were 37 inpatients (mean age at time of operation, 41.2 years; range, 26 to 54 years) and 32 outpatients (mean age at time of operation, 37.5 years; range, 21 to 58 years). Each patient was reviewed for short-term complications, which included wound infection, wound dehiscence, seroma, and/or hematoma. Complications were correlated to inpatient and outpatient groups.
Four inpatients (10.8 percent) and one outpatient (3.1 percent) had wound infections, whereas two inpatients (5.4 percent) and two outpatients (6.2 percent) had wound dehiscence/marginal necrosis (a small area of surgical wound opening). The most common perioperative complication was seroma formation, which was seen in seven inpatients (18.9 percent) and eight outpatients (25.0 percent). The overall complication rate in this study was 30.4 percent (29.7 percent in inpatients and 31.2 percent in outpatients). There was no correlation between short-term complications and inpatient/outpatient status.
These results demonstrate that abdominoplasties can be safely and effectively performed in an outpatient surgery clinic.