shutterstock_251852746Two new studies seek to improve upon outcomes associated with of gluteoplasty and labiaplasty. Both reports appear in the March issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Muscle Atrophy after Buttock Augmentation Using Implants

In one study, Fernando Serra, MD, and colleagues of Pedro Ernesto University Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, evaluated changes in the gluteus muscle in women undergoing placement of silicone implants to improve the shape of the buttocks.

The popularity of buttock augmentation with implants increased by 98% from 2013 to 2014, according to the latest statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Comparing preoperative and follow-up CT scans, the researchers found significant muscle atrophy after implant placement. The volume of the gluteus muscle was reduced by about 6%, although there was no associated change in muscle strength. Atrophy may be at least partly related to “intrinsic compression” of the muscle by the implants. There was evidence that the women started to regain muscle volume after 3 months—possibly reflecting return to exercise and other activities after recovery from the implant procedure.

Meanwhile, gluteoplasty led to improved body shape, with a curvier, more “gynoid” (female) contour. At follow-up, the women were closer to the “ideal” waist-hip ratio of 0.70.

Wanted: Standard Classification System for Labiaplasty

In the second study, Ashit Patel, MB, ChB, of New York’s Albany Medical Center and colleagues analyzed research on the outcomes of vaginal labiaplasty. A review of 19 articles identified nearly 1,950 women undergoing labiaplasty for aesthetic and/or functional reasons.

The analysis showed a wide variation in surgical management—the plastic surgeons in the studies used a total of seven different labiaplasty techniques. However, results were good, with patient satisfaction rates ranging from 94% to 100%, and acceptably low complication rates.

Yet it’s hard to draw conclusions about patient outcomes because of the wide variation in labiaplasty techniques—not just in the type of surgery, but also in anesthesia, wound closure, and postoperative care, Patel and colleagues write.

Patel and coauthors propose a simple classification technique to aid in comparing the results of future clinical trials. They believe that this could be a useful first step toward matching patients to the surgical technique that’s most appropriate for them.