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High Rate of Complications for Medial Thighplasty

Findings among patients in the massive weight loss population

MONDAY, Jan. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients in the massive weight loss population undergoing medial thighplasty, the rate of complications is high, according to a study published in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Jeffrey A. Gusenoff, M.D., from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and colleagues assessed thighplasty patients from 2003 to 2012 to examine the complication profiles. Data were included from 106 patients (90 women).

The researchers found that the complication rate was 43 percent among the 14 patients who underwent horizontal thighplasty; 67 percent among the 24 patients who underwent short-scar thighplasty; and 74 percent among the 68 patients who underwent full-length vertical thighplasty. Sixty-eight percent of patients experienced one or more complication. Complications included dehiscence, seroma, infection, and hematoma (51, 25, 16, and 6 percent, respectively). Twenty-three percent of patients developed edema; in two patients this did not resolve by 12 months. There was a significant correlation for hypertension with postoperative seroma (P = 0.02). Age, hypothyroidism, and liposuction outside the area of resection correlated with postoperative infections (P = 0.01, 0.01, and 0.025, respectively). Increased lower extremity edema was seen in association with a full-length vertical incision (P = 0.007).

"Medial thighplasty has a high rate of minor wound healing problems," the authors write. "Patients should be counseled appropriately about the potential for minor wound healing problems."

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