Abdominoplasty is a safe, efficacious body contouring procedure commonly performed on patients after massive weight loss or pregnancy, or because of general aging. However, complication rates and patient satisfaction levels remain largely unexplored for the overweight and obese patient population. The purpose of this study was twofold: to determine the complication rate and to gauge the psychological impact of abdominoplasty in the overweight or obese patient.
A retrospective review was conducted of consecutive overweight and obese patients undergoing abdominoplasty or panniculectomy over a 12-year period from January of 2004 to December of 2016. Patient medical records were reviewed to identify patient demographics and comorbidities, operative details, and postoperative course. A patient survey was used to assess satisfaction, personal experience with complications, and the recovery process.
Forty-six total patients underwent abdominoplasty or panniculectomy during the 12-year period and met the criterion of body mass index greater than or equal to 25 kg/m2. The average patient body mass index was 32.0 kg/m2, with the majority of the patients categorized as overweight. The average abdominal resection weight was 4834.9 g. Major complications, defined as complications requiring return to the operating room, occurred in four patients (8.7 percent). Minor complications, defined as complications that could be handled in an office setting, occurred in 18 patients (39.1 percent). Thirty-six patients (78.3 percent) responded to the survey. The overwhelming majority of patients who responded to the survey [n = 35 (97.2 percent)] stated that they were satisfied with the final outcome and would choose to have the procedure again.
Abdominoplasty and panniculectomy in overweight and obese patients are associated with an elevated complication rate, yet patient satisfaction is overwhelmingly high, suggesting the viability of body contouring procedures in this patient population.
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