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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of the dissection technique on outcomes and complications after a full abdominoplasty, comparing 2 different techniques used to raise the abdominal flap: the steel scalpel and the diathermocoagulation device on coagulation mode.A prospective study was performed at a single center from January 2009 to December 2011 of patients submitted to abdominoplasty with umbilical transposition. Two groups were identified: group A, abdominoplasty performed with steel scalpel/knife; and group B, abdominoplasty performed with diathermocoagulation on coagulation mode. Several variables were determined: general characteristics, time until drain removal, daily and total volume of drain output, length of hospital stay, operative time, readmission, reoperation, emergency department visits, and local and systemic complications.A total of 119 full abdominoplasties were performed in women (group A, 39 patients; group B, 80 patients). There were no statistically significant differences between groups with respect to general characteristics, except for body mass index, comorbidities, and weight of the surgical specimen; there were no differences for operative time, systemic complications, hematoma, and necrosis incidence. The scalpel group had a highly significant reduction of 54.56% on total drain output, and a 2.65 day reduction on time to drain removal and no reported cases of seroma or healing problems (difference of 81.25% and 90.00%, respectively, between the 2 groups).Performing abdominal dissection with scalpel had a beneficial effect on patient recovery, as it reduced time requested for drain removal, total drain output, and incidence of seroma and wound healing problems.