A recent study conducted by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reports an increasing number of complications in obese patients who undergo body contouring surgery.
"Because of rising demand for body contouring procedures, it is increasingly important for plastic surgeons to be cognizant of potential predictors of poor outcomes or complications that can arise as a result," says Donald Mackay, MD, a board certified plastic surgeon at Penn States’ College of Medicine in Hershey, PA, and senior author of the study. "Obesity is a significant risk factor when considering operative procedures, particularly due to secondary conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, and poor healing, that generally accompany i
In order to determine the degree of risk associated with obesity when undergoing body contouring surgery, a retrospective review was conducted of 129 patients who underwent a single body contouring procedure from 1993 and 2002. Patients were categorized based on their body mass index (BMI), clinical degree of being overweight, into groups including ideal (BMI <25), overweight (BMI 25-30), obese (BMI 31-35), morbidly obese (BMI 36-40), and severely morbidly obese (BMI >41). Complications were recorded into minor and major categories: minor complications included postoperative wound infection, or pockets of fluid (seroma) or blood (hematoma) in or around the wound; major complications included any wound requiring dressing changes, need for hospital readmission or prolonged admission, need for re-operation, or death.
Of the total number of patients, three of the ideal group experienced minor or major complications, compared to six in the overweight group; 10 in the obese group; eight in the morbidly obese group; and 22 in the severely morbidly obese group.
A statistically significant association was found between increasing BMI and an increased number of complications and poorer outcomes. Specifically, the percentage of complication increased as weight category increased. Minor complications increased from 3.3% in the ideal weight group to 46.9% in the severely morbidly obese group; major complications increased from 6.6% in the ideal weight group to 43.7% in the severely morbidly obese group.
[ASAPS, August 1, 2008]