In light of the scarce literature published regarding seroma formation following abdominoplasty when performed with or without liposuction, the objective of this study was to determine whether abdominoplasty performed in conjunction with flank liposuction confers an increased risk for seroma formation compared with abdominoplasty alone.
This was a retrospective cohort study of 200 patients who underwent abdominoplasty with or without liposuction from 2004 to 2007. Medical records were reviewed to collect data regarding patient demographics, length of drain use, operative technique, seroma formation, and other complications. Seroma formation was determined by physical examination 1 week after closed-suction drain removal. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine independent predictors of seroma formation. Results were considered significant for values of p < 0.05.
One hundred twenty-five patients underwent abdominoplasty with flank liposuction and 75 patients underwent abdominoplasty alone. The incidence of seroma formation was 16.0 percent in the abdominoplasty-alone group and 31.2 percent in the abdominoplasty with liposuction group (p < 0.05). The mean age was 43.1 ± 10.2 years and the mean body mass index was 27.3 ± 5.4 kg/m2. Increasing body mass index (odds ratio, 1.1; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.17) and liposuction of the flanks (odds ratio, 3.3; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.37 to 7.97) were independent and significant predictors of seroma formation in abdominoplasty patients.
Patients should be counseled regarding an increased risk of seroma formation following abdominoplasty when combined with liposuction of the flanks. In addition, patients who are overweight are at increased risk for developing a postoperative seroma compared with patients with normal body mass indices.