Although published reports about technical management of massive weight loss patients are beginning to appear, risk factors for complications following body contouring operations are not known.
A retrospective analysis of massive weight loss patients who had body contouring operations between March of 1998 and October of 2004 was performed. Demographic and surgical factors were analyzed. Outcome measures included seroma, wound dehiscence, thromboembolic complications, blood transfusion after surgery, and extended lengths of stay (>2 days).
A total of 139 patients were analyzed; 82.7 percent of them were female; mean age was 41 years. On multiple logistic regression, male gender was associated with significant risks for wound dehiscence (odds ratio, 6.4; p = 0.01). There were also trends toward increased risk for wound dehiscence with hypothyroidism (odds ratio, 4.3; p = 0.06) and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (odds ratio, 18.7; p = 0.05). In terms of risk of blood transfusion, asthma and having three or more procedures were the two variables that emerged with significant association (odds ratio, 16.8 and 13.7, respectively; both p < 0.01). Increased length of stay to greater than 2 days was also significantly associated with having three or more procedures (odds ratio, 4.72; p < 0.01).
Male gender, hypothyroidism, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome may be risk factors for wound dehiscence following body contour operations for massive weight loss. Asthma may be a marker of poor general health status, and asthmatic patients are at increased risk for requiring blood transfusions. Having three or more procedures is associated with an increased risk of blood transfusion and increased length of stay.
From the Department of Surgery and the Division of Plastic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
Received for publication June 23, 2005; accepted October 24, 2005.
Presented at the 84th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, in Scottsdale, Arizona, May 8 through 11, 2005.
Michele A. Shermak, M.D., Division of Plastic Surgery, Suite A518, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, Md. 21224, email@example.com