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Lipo safe when combined with abdominoplasty

Surgery combining abdominoplasty and liposuction appears to be as safe as the individual procedures performed separately, a recent study suggests.

Eric Swanson, M.D., with the Swanson Center, Leawood, Kan., analyzed 551 patients who over a five-year period were treated with ultrasonic liposuction alone (n=384), lipoabdominoplasty (n=150) or abdominoplasty alone (n=17), according to the study abstract.

In the combined procedure, the abdomen and flanks were treated first with liposuction, while a traditional flap dissection was used for all abdominoplasties. Rather than electrodissection, scalpel dissection was used. A supine “jackknife” position was used during surgery to provide maximum hip flexion to allow a secure deep fascial repair, according to the abstract.

For liposuction, the complication rate was 4.2, compared to 50 percent for patients with abdominoplasty. For lipoabdominoplasty, there was a 5.4 percent seroma rate.

“Lipoabdominoplasty may be performed safely, so that patients may benefit from both modalities,” Dr. Swanson wrote. “The seroma rate is reduced by avoiding electrodissection, making scarpa fascia preservation a moot point. A deep fascial repair keeps the abdominoplasty scar within the bikini line.”

The findings were published online Aug. 19 in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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