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Abdominoplasty in the Obese Patient: Risk versus Reward

Batac, Joseph, M.D.; Hamade, Malack, B.S.; Hamade, Hassan, B.S.; Glickman, Laurence, M.D., M.Sc.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: April 2019 - Volume 143 - Issue 4 - p 721e-726e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000005413
Cosmetic: Original Articles
Press Release

Background: The incidence of obesity is on the rise worldwide. Many surgeons elect not to perform abdominoplasty on patients with a high body mass index, fearing an increased risk of perioperative complications. In this study, the authors compare the outcomes of obese and nonobese patients who underwent abdominoplasty.

Methods: A retrospective chart analysis was performed on all patients who underwent abdominoplasty by a single surgeon from 2009 to 2016. Complication rates were compared in obese and nonobese patients. Patients were excluded if they did not undergo a full abdominoplasty, underwent a combined surgical procedure, or underwent liposuction in an area outside of the abdomen or flanks at the time of the abdominoplasty.

Results: A total of 83 patients were included: 62 nonobese and 21 obese patients. The obese group had a higher average body mass index (34. 9 kg/m2 versus 25.1 kg/m2; p < 0.001). Follow-up time was similar (310 days versus 265 days; p = 0.468). No significant differences were seen with regard to perioperative seroma formation (14.2 percent versus 22.5 percent; p = 0.419)), wound dehiscence (9.5 percent versus 11.29 percent; p = 0.822), hematoma formation (4.7 percent versus 1.6 percent; p = 0.438), or surgical-site infection (9.5 percent versus 8.0 percent; p = 0.835). No instances of venous thromboembolism were observed.

Conclusions: Abdominoplasty, with or without concurrent liposuction, in obese patients, is a safe and effective procedure with similar perioperative complication rates as the nonobese patient population. No significant differences were observed in perioperative complications.


Garden City, N.Y.

From the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group.

Received for publication February 13, 2018; accepted September 26, 2018.

Disclosure:The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Joseph Batac, M.D., Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, 999 Franklin Avenue, Suite 300, Garden City, N.Y. 11530,, Instagram: @jbatac00, Laurence Glickman, M.D., M.Sc., Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, 999 Franklin Avenue, Suite 300, Garden City, N.Y. 11530,

Copyright © 2019 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons