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.Methods:
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.Results:
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).Conclusions:
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.