INTRODUCTION: In formerly morbidly obese individuals, major weight loss after bariatric surgery leads to the development of extensive areas of sagging skin with large fat deposits that mainly affect the limbs, several regions of the trunk, and the anterior abdominal wall in particular. The gold standard procedure, anchor-line abdominoplasty (also known as inverted T), is performed with the simultaneous removal of the navel followed by neo-umbilicoplasty during surgery. In the present report, we describe our experience with neo-omphaloplasty in anchor-line abdominoplasty performed in patients who previously underwent bariatric surgery. The neo-omphaloplasty mainly consists of 2 skin flaps bilaterally positioned at the extremities of the skin incision, facilitating a natural appearance of the navel after they are sutured to the fascia.
METHODS: From March 2011 to June 2012, 50 patients, who previously underwent bariatric surgery and had stable body weight for at least 6 months, were operated on at the Plastic Surgery Service of the Clinics Hospital of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Campinas.
RESULTS: In the 50 patients, the neo-umbilicus was positioned at a location that was preoperatively established, and these patients exhibited characteristics similar to individuals who had not undergone abdominal surgeries. There was no evidence of dehiscence, necrosis, stenosis, suture line enlargement in the neo-umbilicus, or seroma formation in this cohort.
CONCLUSIONS: When neo-omphaloplasty is performed using 2 skin flaps conventionally positioned in the abdominal wall, at a distance varying between 16 and 18 cm from the xiphoid process, the aesthetic outcomes are similar to the natural appearance of the navel. This technical approach is quick and easy to implement.
Keywords: Umbilicus/surgery. Abdomen/surgery. Bariatric surgery. Surgery, plastic/methods.