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Research on outpatient abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) procedures at a Los Angeles plastic surgery practice has encouraged the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery to endorse the practice of performing abdominoplasty at accredited outpatient facilities.

LOS ANGELES, CA — July 2007 — A local plastic surgery practice had an instrumental role in the recent announcement by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that abdominoplasty (more commonly known as "tummy tuck") may be safely and effectively performed at an accredited outpatient surgery facility rather than in a hospital setting. The ASAPS's announcement was largely based on a retrospective review of 519 tummy tuck surgeries performed by two senior plastic surgeons at a Los Angeles practice over a 10 year period.

"I am gratified that the ASAPS would announce this new position based on our published study," said W. Grant Stevens, M.D., medical director of Marina Plastic Surgery and lead author of the study. "And I take great pride in knowing that we were able to contribute to important research that is leading the plastic surgery field forward."

Dr. Stevens' research, published under the title "Ten Years of Outpatient Abdominoplasties: Safe and Effective," appears in the May/June 2007 issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, the ASAPS's official peer-reviewed journal. After undergoing an extensive peer review process, which involved assessment and verification by at least five medical doctors, the article was published in the Journal's Scientific Forum section.

Articles in the Scientific Forum are evaluated by one of the Journal's three Senior Scientific Editors and then distributed for blind peer review to at least two reviewers. Based on comments received, the Senior Scientific Editor makes a recommendation to the Journal's Editor in Chief and Associate Editor, who together make the final decision to accept or reject the article for publication.

"Having the validation of such thorough peer review means that the methods used by our research team were sound and our conclusions were credible," commented Dr. Stevens. "Outpatient tummy tuck in Los Angeles and throughout the country is becoming increasingly common, but until now, no one was certain how outpatient complication rates compared to in-patient rates. Some surgeons thought the hospital setting offered important safety advantages for abdominoplasty, but complication rates following surgery at an accredited outpatient surgery facility were nearly identical to those seen in prior published studies of in-patient abdominoplasty."

The most common complication observed in the study was seroma, or the development of a pocket of benign fluid near the surgical site. This complication occurred in 10.6% of cases. The most common reason for surgical revision was abdominal scar revision, requested in about 1 in 15 cases. Most patients underwent concurrent procedures at the time of abdominoplasty, most commonly liposuction (91%). There was no statistically significant difference in complications or revisions when comparing groups based on such variables as age, body mass index, operating room time, smoking status, or type of abdominoplasty performed.

"While the results are certainly encouraging for the outpatient procedure," added Dr. Stevens, "we caution in the article that follow-up care is still extremely important. All patients should adhere to a post-surgical regimen that includes early and regular ambulation, sufficient hydration, and taking precautions based on the individual patient's risk profile and chance of complications."

"In my experience," continued Dr. Stevens, "patients are weary of the hospital environment, which sometimes seems too impersonal and hectic. At the accredited outpatient surgery center I operate in Los Angeles, tummy tuck patients can safely have their procedure and recover in a medical setting that offers many of the comforts of home."

Dr. Grant Stevens is a California board-certified plastic surgeon and the Medical Director of Marina Plastic Surgery (www.marinaplasticsurgery.com) in Marina Del Rey. He specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery and has been named one of America's Best Physicians by his colleagues in The Guide to Top Doctors. He is an active member at Centinella-Freeman Marina Hospital where he is the past Chairman of the Department of Surgery, the past Chairman of the Liposuction Committee, and the past co-director of the Breast Center. He is also on staff at St. John's Medical Center and the Marina Outpatient Surgery Center. Dr. Stevens is an Associate Clinical Professor at the USC Medical School and Director of the American Society of Aesthetic Surgery-approved Marina Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship. The practice maintains a Web site specifically about abdominoplasty procedures at www.losangelestummytuck.com.

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