The effect of weight loss surgery and body mass index on wound complications after abdominal contouring operations

Ann Plast Surg. 2008 Sep;61(3):235-42. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e318166d351.


Abdominal contouring operations are in high demand after massive weight loss. Anecdotally, wound problems seemed to occur frequently in this patient population. Our study was designed to delineate risk factors for wound complications after body contouring. Our retrospective institutional analysis was assembled from 222 patients between 2001 and 2006 who underwent either abdominoplasty (N = 89) or panniculectomy (N = 133). Weight loss surgery (WLS) before body contouring occurred in 63% of our patients. Overall the wound complication rate in these patients was 34%: healing-disturbance 11%, wound infection 12%, hematoma 6%, and seroma 14%. WLS patients had an increase in wound complications overall (41% vs. 22%; P < 0.01) and in all categories of wound complications compared with non-WLS-patients by univariate methods of analysis. In a multivariate regression model, only American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status Classification was a significant independent risk factor for wound complications. In conclusion, WLS patients are at increased risk for wound complications and American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status Classification is the most predictive of risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Wall / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bariatric Surgery / adverse effects
  • Bariatric Surgery / statistics & numerical data*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Causality
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hematoma / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / adverse effects
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroma / epidemiology
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Subcutaneous Fat, Abdominal / surgery*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology*