Outcome study of the surgical management of panniculitis

Ann Plast Surg. 2012 Feb;68(2):194-7. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e318212f39a.


Patients with panniculus morbidus have an abdominal panniculus that becomes a pathologic entity, associated with the development of candidal intertrigo, dermatitis, lymphedema, and ischemic panniculitis. Panniculectomy is a standard treatment for this problem. The objective of this study was to determine risk factors for complications associated with panniculectomy surgery to lower the complication rate. We performed a retrospective chart review of patients who underwent panniculectomy between 1999 and 2007 by looking at data related to surgical complications, comorbidities, age, and gender. In 563 patients, we recorded the incidence of the following complications: wound-related (infection, dehiscence, and/or necrosis), hematoma/seroma, respiratory distress, blood transfusions, deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, and death. Overall, 34.3% of patients suffered at least 1 complication. In patients with wound complications specifically, there was a significantly higher body mass index versus those with no wound complications (43.7% vs. 30.7%, P < 0.0001). Smokers also had a higher rate of wound complications (40.5% vs. 19.5%, P < 0.0001).

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / surgery
  • Panniculitis / etiology
  • Panniculitis / surgery*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Subcutaneous Fat, Abdominal / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss
  • Young Adult