Decision Making in Abdominoplasty
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- Sozer, S.O., Agullo, F.J., Santillan, A.A. et al. Aesth Plast Surg (2007) 31: 117. doi:10.1007/s00266-006-0148-y
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Improvements and variations in abdominoplasty techniques have complicated patient and procedure selection. The authors describe their guidelines for selecting the ideal procedure to be used with patients by stratifying them into treatment groups according to the presence and location of excess skin and subcutaneous tissue, lipodystrophy, and abdominal wall laxity.
A prospective study analyzed 151 female patients treated for abdominal contour deformities from January 2004 to July 2005. The patients were systematically classified into five treatment groups: mini-abdominoplasty (5%), standard abdominoplasty (42%), abdominoplasty with liposuction and minimal midline undermining (10%), standard abdominoplasty with removal of deep fat (13%), and circumferential abdominoplasty (30%).
The patients had a mean age of 42 years and a mean body mass index (BMI) of 26 kg/m2. The prevalence of overweight (BMI, 25.0–29.9) was 37%, and that of obesity (BMI > 30.0) was 19%. Comparison of pre- and postoperative photographs included improved tension of the entire abdominal wall, enhancement of the waistline, and increased uniformity of the contour of the abdomen. There was a significant difference in mean BMI between preabdominoplasty (26 kg/m2) and postabdominoplasty (24 kg/m2) (p = 0.01). The prevalence of overweight and obesity decreased by 8% and 9%, respectively (p = 0.01), and a decrease in BMI occurred within each abdominoplasty subgroup (p = 0.01). The prevalence of complications was 11%. Seroma (4%) and delayed wound healing (4%) were the most common. One case of pulmonary embolus was encountered. Although there was a positive trend in complications with higher BMI, no statistically significant difference was found (p = 0.74). Half of the patients had additional procedures performed without a significant increase in complications (p = 0.5).
The described algorithm for abdominoplasty selection is safe, effective, and flexible, with long-term improvement in abdominal contour and BMI.