Plastic Surgery Research Council
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TRADITIONAL ABDOMINOPLASTY VS. PROGRESSIVE TENSION SUTURE (PTS) ABDOMINOPLASTY : A SINGLE CENTER, SINGLE SURGEON 6 YEAR RETROSPECTIVE REVIEW OF COMPLICATION RATES
Presenter: Cristina Dracea, MD
Co-Authors: Alizadeh K
Long Island Plastic Surgical Group

Background: Abdminoplasty remains the sixth most commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedure in 2011 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Despite such vast experience, seroma and other wound complications rates remain relatively unchanged. The technique of progressive tension sutures (PTS), popularized by Pollock in 2000 as a method to decrease the rates of such complications, has been met with mixed reviews despite a remarkable 0.1% seroma formation rate in their recent review of 597 consecutive cases. Therefore, a comparison of the application of the PTS technique versus traditional abdominoplasty technique in reducing complication rates as performed by a single surgeon, at a single center with a cohesive patient population was needed.

Methods: A retrospective review of all female patients who underwent abdominoplasty from 2006 to 2011 by senior author was performed. Study population was divided into 2 groups: those who underwent traditional abdominoplasty with drain placement and those who underwent PTS abdominoplasty. Data collected included demographics, surgical procedural details including other simultaneous procedures performed, quantity of lipoaspirate, drain placement, time to drain removal, and complications. Primary outcomes were total complication and seroma formation rates for each study group. Secondary outcomes included wound and other complications, time to drain removal and need for further procedures/revisions.

Results: Total complication rate decreased from 33% to 10% (P -0.009) when PTS abdominoplasty was perfomed. Seroma formation rate decreased from 13% to 5% (P- 0.11). Rate of surgical scar/ wound revision was reduced from 30% to 8% (P-0.007). No relationship between quantity of lipoaspirate and seroma formation was found.

Conclusions: Progressive tension sutures technique is a useful adjunct to any abdominoplasty procedure by decreasing total complication and seroma formation rates as well as significantly improving aesthetic outcomes of scars and revision rates.


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