The "weekend effect" in plastic surgery: analyzing weekday versus weekend admissions in body contouring procedures from 2000 to 2010

Aesthet Surg J. 2015 Nov;35(8):995-8. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjv088. Epub 2015 May 27.


Background: Body contouring operations are a quickly becoming the most commonly performed operations by American plastic surgeons, mirroring the increase in bariatric surgery in the US over the last decade. Despite previous studies showing worse patient outcomes on weekend admissions for non-emergent cases (spine, breast, and hernia), there is no comparative data reported regarding body contouring procedures.

Objective: The authors aimed to determine whether body contouring surgery results in worse outcomes when performed on weekends versus weekdays.

Methods: A serial cross-sectional study of body contouring patients was performed using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database from 2000 to 2010. Data were gathered using international classification of diseases, ninth revision codes for liposuction and reduction of adipose tissue (86.83) for weekday and weekend admissions, including demographics, hospital charges, and patient outcomes.

Results: A total of 50,346 hospital admission cases of inpatient body contouring were examined over the 11-year period, 98% of which were on a weekday. When compared to weekday admissions, weekend admissions were associated with a statistically significant increase in hospitalization costs ($35,481, p < 0.000) and in hospital length of stay (5.68 days, p < 0.000). Mortality rates were found to be higher on weekend admissions (3.7%) versus weekdays (0.5%) as well.

Conclusions: Although outcomes are multifactorial, in body contouring patients, weekday admission is associated with favorable outcomes in terms of length of stay and hospital charges.

Level of evidence: 4 Risk.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Appointments and Schedules*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / economics
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality / trends
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Admission / standards
  • Patient Admission / trends*
  • Patient Safety
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surgery, Plastic / adverse effects*
  • Surgery, Plastic / economics*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome