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Ann Plast Surg. 2009 Dec;63(6):597-9. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e318196cc19.

Prospective evaluation of the sensory outcome following abdominoplasty.

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Department of Plastic Reconstructive and Hand Surgery, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The aim of this study is to prospectively evaluate the changes in the sensation of the skin of the abdominal wall and thighs following abdominoplasty. Patients underwent standard full abdominoplasty with reinsertion of the umbilicus. Sensory testing was performed preoperatively and at least 1 year postoperatively. Predetermined targets on the abdominal wall, umbilicus, and on the anterior thighs were tested for light touch, sensory thresholds, using Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments (SW), vibration, and temperature. Fourteen patients completed the study. On average targets demonstrated a decrease in sensory thresholds, average from SW 3.61 to 4.14 (P < 0.001), the targets that had the most significant decrease were the umbilicus SW 3.67 to 6.97 (P = 0.001) and the infra umbilical 3.75 to 6.57 P = 0.001. Similar findings were seen for the other modalities tested, there was a significant disappearance in their perception at the umbilical target and at the lower abdominal regions. We did not identify any significant decrease in the sensation of the thighs. Abdominoplasty causes lasting sensory changes concentrating on the umbilical and infraumbilical regions. This study enables surgeons to inform their patients about the expected sensory outcome following abdominoplasty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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