Abdominal Lipectomy: A Prospective Outcomes Study


Nadine B Semer, MD, FACS; Wan C Ho, MD, FRCS; Sharrie Mills, MD, FACS; BM Rajashekara, MD, FACS; Jason R Taylor, MD; Nguyen B Trung, MD; Henry Young, MD; Juris Kivuls, MD, FACS

Spring 2008 - Volume 12 Number 2



Context/objective: Abdominal lipectomy is performed by plastic surgeons to provide symptomatic, functional, and cosmetic relief for patients with excess abdominal tissue. However, there are few clinical outcome studies looking at the utility of this procedure: this is the first prospective oucomes study.

Design: Patients who underwent abdominal lipectomy at the Bellflower Medical Center during a 12-month period (September 2004 through September 2005) were prospectively studied. Data were collected at the preoperative visit, during surgery, and at the one-week, one-month, and six-month postoperative visits.

Outcome measures: Complications, both major (requiring rehospitalization or reoperation) and minor (requiring local outpatient care) were identified. To evaluate the impact on our patients' perceived health and well-being as well as body image, we administered the Short Form–36 Health Survey (SF-36) and the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ) to participants at their preoperative and six-month postoperative visits.

Results: For the 72 patients enrolled in the study, the postoperative major complication rate was 5.6% (four patients) and the minor complication rate was 27.8% (20 patients); 98.3% were happy to have had the surgery. Two components of the MBSRQ, feelings of attractiveness and body area satisfaction, showed significant improvement (p < 0.0001 for each) at six-month postoperative testing. No component of the SF-36 reached statistical significance between pre- and postoperative testing.

Conclusion: Because the complication rate for cosmetic abdominoplasty in our study did not significantly differ from rates reported for other studies, and given our data on perceived patient satisfaction and improvement in outcomes, our study validates the utility of abdominal lipectomy for patients with symptomatic lower abdominal pannus.


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