Medial Thigh Lift in the Massive Weight Loss Population: Outcomes and Complications

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Abstract

Background:

Complication profiles of medial thighplasty in the massive weight loss population are not well described. The authors present their experience with these procedures in the massive weight loss population.

Methods:

Thighplasty patients from 2003 to 2012 were assessed. Variables included age, sex, body mass index, method of weight loss, comorbidities, and smoking status. Outcomes included seroma, dehiscence, infection, hematoma, edema, and revision. Statistical analysis was performed as appropriate.

Results:

One hundred six subjects (90 women and 16 men) underwent thighplasty. Fourteen patients underwent horizontal thighplasty, with a complication rate of 43 percent; 24 underwent short-scar thighplasty, with a complication rate of 67 percent; and 68 underwent full-length vertical thighplasty, with a complication rate of 74 percent. Seventy-two subjects (68 percent) had at least one complication. Complications included dehiscence (51 percent), seroma (25 percent), infection (16 percent), and hematoma (6 percent). Overall, 25 patients (23 percent) developed edema, which did not resolve in two patients by 12 months. Hypertension was significantly associated with postoperative seroma (p = 0.02). Age (p = 0.01), hypothyroidism (p = 0.01), and liposuction outside the area of resection (p = 0.025) were associated with postoperative infections. A full-length vertical incision was associated with increased lower extremity edema (p = 0.007).

Conclusions:

Medial thighplasty has a high rate of minor wound healing problems. Full-length vertical thighplasty is associated with prolonged edema. Concomitant liposuction may also increase complications. Patients should be counseled appropriately about the potential for minor wound healing problems.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic, III.

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