Ten years of outpatient abdominoplasties: safe and effective

Aesthet Surg J. May-Jun 2007;27(3):269-75. doi: 10.1016/j.asj.2007.04.003.


Background: Abdominoplasty has traditionally been described in the literature as an operation that is performed in a hospital setting, although more recently it is likely that most procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. To date, there have been very few large series illustrating the safety and efficacy of abdominoplasty performed in outpatient surgery centers.

Objective: This study reports the complications and revisions of outpatient abdominoplasties in a large patient population.

Methods: The charts of 519 consecutive abdominoplasty procedures performed at a single outpatient surgical center over the past 10 years (1996-2006) were reviewed. Follow-up was 6 months to 10 years, with an average of 4.3 years. Mean age at the time of operation was 43 years; range 19 to 74 years. Gender, smoking history, American Society of Anesthesiologists risk score, body mass index, type of abdominoplasty, and concurrent procedures were recorded. Each patient's chart was reviewed to assess complication and revision rates, including deaths, venous thromboembolism events, wound dehiscence, infection, seroma, hematoma, and scarring unacceptable to the patient or surgeon.

Results: The most common complication was seroma (10.6%), followed by unacceptable scarring of the abdominal or umbilical incisions (7.9%). The most common reason for revision was abdominal scar revision (6.4%). Most patients had concurrent additional procedures at the time of abdominoplasty, most commonly lipoplasty (91%). There was no statistically significant difference in complications or revisions when comparing groups based on age, body mass index, operating room time, smoking status, full abdominoplasty versus a less complex procedure such as a "mini" or floating umbilical abdominoplasty or simultaneous procedures. Men were significantly less likely to have a complication when compared with women.

Conclusions: This large retrospective study of 519 consecutive abdominoplasty procedures performed on an outpatient basis demonstrates that abdominoplasties may be performed safely and effectively at an accredited outpatient surgery facility.