Lipoabdominoplasty can provides excellent patient outcomes with a low complication rate, according to a study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery-Global Openflat-belly

In the new study, 150 patients who underwent Iipoabdominoplasty were compared to 384 patients who had liposuction alone and 17 patients who had abdominoplasty. The combined technique was designed to reduce surgical trauma. Patients initially underwent ultrasonic liposuction in the abdomen and flanks. Liposuction was followed by abdominoplasty.

“Liposuction and abdominoplasty, individually and in combination, may be performed safely with appropriate measures to reduce complications by minimizing tissue trauma,” concludes study author Eric Swanson, MD, a plastic surgeon in private practice in Leawood, Kansas.

Notably, no liposuction patients developed seromas. There was a 5% rate of seromas after abdominoplasty. Swanson writes that seromas have led some plastic surgeons to leave behind some abdominal fat and connective tissue during abdominoplasty. He believes that preserving this excess tissue is unnecessary and compromises the cosmetic result.

Basic Safety Measures Reduce Risk of Combined Procedures

The study demonstrates that by using shorter periods of ultrasound and eliminating the traditional use of electrodissection during surgery, the risk of seromas may be minimized without sacrificing the cosmetic results. By first injecting the tissues with fluid containing epinephrine, blood loss is reduced, making cautery dissection unnecessary. In the report, Swanson also describes a modified form of general anesthesia—total intravenous anesthesia without muscle paralysis—to reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs. Only one patient in his series developed this complication and was successfully treated. He writes that by adopting safe preventive measures, surgeons may reduce the risk of this serious complication without the need for blood-thinning medication. Patients also recover more quickly after surgery, averaging only 51 minutes in the recovery room, and experience less nausea.