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Seroma in Lipoabdominoplasty and Abdominoplasty: A Comparative Study Using Ultrasound

Di Martino, Marcello M.D., M.S.; Nahas, Fábio Xerfan M.D., Ph.D.; Barbosa, Marcus V. J. M.D., Ph.D.; Montecinos Ayaviri, Natalia Alinda M.D.; Kimura, Alexandro Kenji M.D., M.S.; Barella, Simone Maluf M.D.; Novo, Neil Ferreira Ph.D.; Ferreira, Lydia M. M.D., Ph.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: November 2010 - Volume 126 - Issue 5 - p 1742-1751
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181efa6c5
Cosmetic: Original Articles

Background: Abdominoplasty is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic procedures, and its combination with liposuction has become more common. Seroma is one of the most common complications in abdominoplasty. The aim of this study was to compare the rate of seroma formation in patients who underwent either abdominoplasty with or without the use of quilting sutures or lipoabdominoplasty.

Methods: Fifty-eight female patients were divided into three groups and underwent one of the following procedures: group A (n = 21), abdominoplasty without quilting sutures; group B (n = 17), abdominoplasty with quilting sutures; and group C (n = 20), lipoabdominoplasty. To investigate seroma formation, abdominal ultrasound was performed in five regions of the abdominal wall (epigastrium, umbilical, hypogastrium, right iliac fossa, and left iliac fossa) at two postoperative periods (P1, between postoperative days 11 and 14; and P2, between postoperative days 18 and 21).

Results: The rate of seroma formation at both P1 and P2 was significantly higher in group A. It was observed that in group A at P1, the regions of right iliac fossa and left iliac fossa developed larger fluid collections. In group B, there were no significant differences with respect to fluid collections among the five study regions at both P1 and P2. In group C, there were significantly larger fluid collections in the hypogastrium region at P1 and in the umbilical and hypogastrium regions at P2.

Conclusion: Abdominoplasty with quilting sutures and lipoabdominoplasty are effective techniques for the prevention of seromas compared with abdominoplasty without quilting sutures.

São Paulo, Brazil

From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, and Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Federal University of São Paulo, and the Department of Statistics, Santo Amaro University.

Received for publication October 30, 2009; accepted April 28, 2010.

Disclosures: There was no external funding for this study. The authors have no financial interest or commercial association with any of the subject matter or products mentioned in this article. The authors declare that no competing financial interests exist with regard to the present article.

Fábio Xerfan Nahas, M.D., Ph.D., Division of Plastic Surgery, Federal University of São Paulo, Rua Napoleão de Barros 715, 4° andar, CEP 04024-002 São Paulo, Brazil,

©2010American Society of Plastic Surgeons