Abdominal Dermolipectomy in an Abdomen with Pre-Existing Scars: A Different Concept


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Abstract

Although abdominal dermolipectomy is a frequently performed procedure, few publications have reported on the safety of the procedure in the scarred abdomen. The aim of this study was to stress the possibility of performing a natural-looking abdominoplasty with no complication such as skin necrosis or liponecrosis in the presence of abdominal scars and to clarify that the scarred abdomen is not a great limitation for full abdominoplasty as reported in the literature. Seventy-six abdominoplasties were performed on scarred patients from July of 1997 to June of 2003. Twenty-five patients had oblique subcostal scars, six patients had median supraumbilical scars, three patients had median infraumbilical scars, 10 patients had appendectomy scars, nine patients had paramedian supraumbilical scars, eight patients had paramedian infraumbilical scars, seven patients had long transverse scars of repaired ventral hernias, and eight patients had multiple small scars after laparoscopy. In addition, there were concomitant transverse cesarean delivery scars in 40 patients. All patients underwent full abdominoplasties, plication of the musculoaponeurotic system, and liposuction assistance if required (45 patients). Of 76 subjects, three patients had very limited liponecrosis at the watershed area. Eleven patients (14.5 percent) were morbidly obese and heavy smokers. In comparisons of postabdominoplasty complications, such as liponecrosis, wound infection, and dehiscence with and without liposuction in scarred abdomen, no significant differences were found. Secondary revision was more common among abdominoplasties without liposuction [seven of 45 (15.6 percent) versus 12 of 31 (38.7 percent); p = 0.02]. In conclusion, there is no limitation or contraindication for abdominal dermolipectomy with or without liposuction assistance on the previously scarred abdomen as long as the vascular zones of the abdomen are respected. The abdominal wall dissection is limited to allow only the plication of the musculoaponeurotic system, and aggressive liposuction is avoided.

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