Abdominoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that has significantly increased in popularity over the past decade. However, risks associated with abdominoplasty, as well as an extended recovery period, have discouraged some patients who might benefit from the treatment. Now, a new surgical technique known as progressive tension sutures or PTS is reducing risk and eliminating the need for uncomfortable drains after surgery.
In the past, abdominoplasty surgery left an open space in the abdominal area that was prone to seromas (buildups of fluid). To reduce this risk, surgeons insert drains into the abdominal region to eliminate excess fluid as it builds. While drainage tubes have been the standard of care for some time, the tubes have also been a source of discomfort for many abdominoplasty patients. In addition, the rate of seromas was still relatively high at 20 percent.
PTS is a relatively simple surgical technique that involves the placement of sutures between the skin flap and the deeper abdominal tissue. The progressive attachment offers the
• No “empty” abdominal space, decreasing the risk for seromas
• Less tension on the incision, which may lead to less visible scarring
• No need for drainage tubes after the procedure
• Quicker healing as the patient is able to get up and around faster
• A more natural appearance to the naval after surgery
PTS involves a few extra minutes during the procedure, but the reduction in recovery time and elimination of surgical tubes is well worth those minutes to most patients. Plastic surgeons also appreciate this technique, since it minimized post-op complications significantly with abdominoplasty patients.
Studies have shown PTS results in fewer complications after surgery, including the formations of seromas. In addition, the procedure may lead to a lower incidence of hematomas (collection of blood outside the vessel) and skin necrosis (skin death). Patients also find the recovery process to be more comfortable, since much of the discomfort after abdominoplasty stemmed from the two or three drainage tubes that were typically sutured to the treatment area.
Patients that undergo this surgery experience a leaner, firmer abdominal area with less downtime and discomfort after surgery than patients receiving traditional abdominoplasty techniques. Dr. Kahlil Andrews would be happy to see you to further discuss abdominoplasty with progressive tension suturing. To learn more about abdominoplasty, or the revolutionary progressive tension suture technique, contact Physician’s Clinic of Iowa, Plastic Surgery at 319-382-8230.