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Impact of Patient Subtype and Surgical Variables on Abdominoplasty Outcomes: A 12-Year Massachusetts General Hospital Experience

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The traditional abdominoplasty is one of the most common surgical procedures performed. This study evaluates the impact of different surgical techniques and clinical patient factors on abdominoplasty outcomes.


A retrospective review of consecutive patients undergoing abdominoplasty was performed.


Seven hundred seventy-nine patients with a mean age of 43.7 years and a body mass index of 27 kg/m2 underwent abdominoplasty. The majority were women (92.9 percent), and massive weight loss was present in 34.8 percent. Abdominoplasty techniques included traditional (59.4 percent), belt lipectomy (17.9 percent), fleur-de-lis (16.4 percent), umbilical float (9.2 percent), and mini-abdominoplasty (2.8 percent). Half of the study population [n = 384 (49.3 percent)] had concurrent surgical procedures. Total complications (23.0 percent) consisted primarily of wound- and scar-related complications (15.3 percent). Approximately 60 percent of patients received heparin chemoprophylaxis, with overall thromboembolic and hematoma rates less than 1 percent. Univariate analysis revealed that massive weight loss (p = 0.04), fleur-de-lis (p = 0.03) or belt lipectomy (p = 0.05) techniques, and concurrent medial thigh lift (p < 0.001) all significantly increased complications. Previous scars, amount of weight loss, operative time, liposuction, and other concurrent procedures did not affect total complications. Male sex (OR, 1.96; p = 0.04), fleur-de-lis technique (OR, 1.71; p = 0.04), and medial thigh lift (OR, 3.3; p < 0.001) were independent risk factors for total postoperative complications.


This study demonstrates that abdominoplasty alone or in combination with liposuction and aesthetic breast surgery can be performed safely, with an acceptable complication profile.


Risk, III.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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