BACKGROUND: The massive weight losses caused by bariatric surgery have considerably increased the demand for plastic surgery, with abdominoplasty being the most requested procedure. In this study, an analysis of post-abdominoplasty complications was conducted in a consecutive series of 130 patients who experienced massive weight loss.
METHODS: One hundred and thirty patients who underwent abdominoplasty were studied, and the differences between the genders, surgery types (anchor-line vs. conventional), drain usage, adhesive sutures, and lost weight during the weight loss phase and at the time of abdominoplasty as well as the occurrence of complications such as seroma, hematoma, and infection were analyzed.
RESULTS: Ten men and 120 women underwent surgery (mean age, 38.3 years). The anchor-line abdominoplasty and conventional techniques were performed in 99 and 31 patients, respectively. Seroma was the most prevalent complication in men (P = 0.012) and was more frequent in group A and B patients (with drains and fewer than 30 adhesive sutures, respectively) relative to group C patients (without drains and more than 30 adhesive sutures), with respective P values of 0.001 and 0.075, and in patients who underwent abdominoplasty and weighed more than 70 kg (P = 0.002). Hematoma was more prevalent in men (P = 0.003) and in patients who underwent abdominoplasty and weighed more than 70 kg (P = 0.008). There were no significant differences with respect to the infection incidence between the tested groups or between the anchor-line and conventional abdominoplasty procedures.
CONCLUSIONS: Seroma was the main complication and could be avoided by using an appropriate number of adhesive sutures. Male patients weighting more than 70 kg at the time of abdominoplasty developed more complications.
Keywords: Bariatric surgery. Obesity. Abdominoplasty.