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Aesthet Surg J. 2015 Jan;35(1):81-8. doi: 10.1093/asj/sju022.

The impact of perioperative hypothermia on plastic surgery outcomes: a multivariate logistic regression of 1062 cases.

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From the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.



Perioperative hypothermia has been associated with increased rates of infection, prolonged recovery time, and coagulopathy.


The authors assessed the impact of hypothermia on patient outcomes after plastic surgery and analyzed the impact of prewarming on postoperative outcomes.


The medical charts of 1062 patients who underwent complex plastic surgery typically lasting at least 1 hour were reviewed. Hypothermia was defined as a temperature at or below 36°C. Postoperative complication data were collected for outcomes including infection, delayed wound healing, seroma, hematoma, dehiscence, deep venous thrombosis, and overall wound problems. Odds ratios (ORs) were estimated from 3 multivariate logistic regression models of hypothermia and one model of body contouring procedures that included prewarming as a parameter.


Perioperative hypothermia was not a significant predictor of wound problems (OR = 0.83; P = .28). In the stratified regression model, hypothermia did not significantly impact wound problems. The regression model measuring the interaction between hypothermia and operating time did not show a significantly increased risk of wound problems. Prewarming did not significantly affect perioperative hypothermia (P = .510), and in the model of body contouring procedures with prewarming as a categorical variable, massive weight loss was the most significant predictor of wound complications (OR = 2.57; P = .003). Prewarming did not significantly affect outcomes (OR = 1.49; P = .212).


Based on univariate and multivariate models in our study, mild perioperative hypothermia appears to be independent of wound complications. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE 4: Risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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