Lipoabdominoplasty Without Drains or Progressive Tension Sutures: An Analysis of 100 Consecutive Patients

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Subcutaneous surgical drains are commonly used in abdominoplasties to prevent seromas but are not tolerated well by patients and add additional discomfort after the procedure. The lipoabdominoplasty modification may create a more favorable surgical field to reduce the need for surgical drains without increasing seroma formation.


The goal of this review was to determine if surgical drains can be completely eliminated in lipoabdominoplasty procedures without an increased risk of seromas.


The authors conducted a retrospective chart review of 100 consecutive standard, extended, and circumferential lipoabdominoplasty patients done by a single surgeon with at least a 3-month follow-up period.


Seroma was identified in 5% of patients, hematoma and abscess each in 2% of patients, and granuloma, cellulitis, and delayed wound healing each in 1% of patients.


The use of discontinuous undermining with liposuction, limited direct undermining in the midline, preservation of a thin layer of fibrofatty tissue on the superficial abdominal wall fascia, and targeted surgical site compression can eliminate the need for surgical drains without increasing seroma rates.

Level of Evidence: 4


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