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Ann Plast Surg. 2008 Jun;60(6):604-8. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e3181344470.

Pulmonary embolism after combined abdominoplasty and flank liposuction: a correlation with the amount of fat removed.

Author information

1
Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Tor Vergata in Rome, Italy. ggravante@hotmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We prospectively followed patients who underwent esthetic abdominoplasty and flank liposuction to determine the influence of the amount of fat removed on the occurrence of pulmonary embolism.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We recruited patients undergoing abdominoplasties and flank liposuction and composed 2 groups according to the amount of fat removed, one of small resections (<1500 g) and the other of great resections (>1500 g). All patients received deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis.

RESULTS:

Since January 2005, we enrolled 103 patients and registered 3 embolisms (2.9%). All occurred in nonsmokers, had no risk factor for deep vein thrombosis, and a resection weight greater than 1500 g (21.4%; 3/14). The calculated relative risk conferred by the amount of fat greater than 1500 g was 7.4. An association was also found with duration of surgery: all embolisms occurred in patients that underwent long operation (>140 minutes; 8.8%; 3/34) with a relative risk of 3.0.

CONCLUSIONS:

The amount of fat removed during plastic surgery is a factor influencing the occurrence of pulmonary embolism in patients undergoing abdominoplasty/flank liposuction, and the duration of surgery is a concomitant factor. Should this data be confirmed, specific measures for prevention of this serious complication could be developed.

PMID:
18520191
DOI:
10.1097/SAP.0b013e3181344470
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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