Incidence and Predictors of Venous Thromboembolism in Abdominoplasty

Aesthetic Surgery Journal
Volume 38, Issue 2, February 2018, Pages 162–173
Published on Oct 8, 2017
Status: Published
Geoffrey R. Keyes, MD, FACS, et al.
Grant Name:
Interim Research Grant
Amount Awarded:
Project Name:
Incidence and Predictors of Venous Thromboembolism in Abdominoplasty
Project Summary:


The prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a high priority in aesthetic surgery. Abdominoplasty is the aesthetic procedure most commonly associated with VTE, yet the mechanisms for the development of VTE associated with this procedure are unclear.


The purpose of this study was to analyze the incidence and predictors of VTE in patients undergoing abdominoplasty procedures in outpatient surgery centers using data from the Internet Based Quality Assurance Program (IBQAP).


IBQAP data from 2001 to 2011 were queried retrospectively to identify abdominoplasty cases and VTE cases. Patient- and procedure-specific variables were analyzed to identify potential predictors of VTE in abdominoplasty.


Among all outpatient aesthetic surgery cases entered from 2001 to 2011, 414 resulted in VTE, representing a VTE incidence of 0.02%. Of these, 240 (58%) occurred in abdominoplasty cases. Predictors of VTE were age greater than 40 years and BMI greater than 25 kg/m2. Patient sex, duration of anesthesia and surgery, type of anesthesia, type of additional procedure, and number of procedures did not appear to influence the risk of VTE. Importantly, 95.5% of the VTEs identified for this study occurred in patients whose Caprini risk assessment model score was between 2 and 8, which would not be an indication for chemoprophylaxis according to current recommendations.


Many factors must be considered when determining the true incidence of VTE in abdominoplasty. Research is needed to discover the reason abdominoplasty carries a greater risk compared with other aesthetic surgery procedures so that appropriate steps can be taken to prevent its occurrence and improve the safety of the procedure.

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