Is abdominoplasty beneficial in obese populations?


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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New research suggests that despite having a substantial risk of complications, abdominoplasty and panniculectomy yield high patient satisfaction and improved quality of life in patients who are overweight or obese. 

The retrospective review, published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, analysed the outcomes of the surgery in 46 overweight/obese consecutive patients undergoing abdominoplasty or panniculectomy over a 12-year period. Patients were also surveyed about their experiences. 

The majority of the patients (n=37) underwent abdominoplasty, whereas nine patients underwent panniculectomy. 

The overall complication rate was 47.8 per cent. Major complications, defined as complications requiring return to the operating room, occurred in four patients and minor complications, defined as complications that could be dealt with in an office setting, occurred in 18 patients. 

Of 36 patients who responded to the patient survey, 94.4 per cent said they were satisfied with the final outcome and 97.2 per cent said they would choose to have the procedure again. More than 97 per cent of patients reported an improvement in the quality of life after the operation. 

The authors said that “even in the face of this elevated complication rate, patient satisfaction is overwhelmingly high” and said the findings suggest the viability of body contouring procedures in this patient population.