Results of abdominoplasty by electrodissection and short- term complications


  • Seyed Reza Mousavi Shahid Beheshti University Medical Sciences Shohada Medical Center Tajrish Tehran Iran
  • Zohreh Mahdikhah



Abdominoplasty, electrodissection, bleeding, complications, seroma


Objective: To describe abdominoplasty by electrodissection technique for improving short-term complications.

Design: A prospective controlled study consisting of 100 consecutive female candidates for abdominoplasty by electrodissection employing spray-coagulation was conducted . The technique and electrical current used are described in detail.

Results: Intraoperative bleeding ranged from 25 to 160 ml, (median 85 ml). The short-term specific and general complication rates were very low, not exceeding the rates observed using cold scalpel. The frequency of seroma was 24% and the occurrence of seroma, total seroma volume, and total suction tube discharge were correlated to the area of dissection or depth of electrical tissue injury.

Conclusion: Despite the relatively high frequency of seroma, we recommend the use of spray-coagulation for abdominoplasty because bleeding is minimized, visibility during dissection is highly increased and the rate of short-term complications is very low.



- Kakos GS, James AG. The use of cautery in “bloodless†radical mastectomy. Cancer 1970; 26: 666-8.

- Kumagai SG, Rosales RF, Hunter GC, Rappaport WD, Witzke DB, Chvapil TA, et al. Effects of electrocautery on midline laparotomy wound infection. Am J Surg. 1991; 162: 620-2.

- Soballe PW. Electrosurgery: Destruction and infection. Problems in General Surgery 2002; 19: 31-6.

- Porter KA, O'Connor S, Rimm E, Lopez M. Electrocautery as a factor in seroma formation following mastectomy. Am J Surg. 1998; 176: 8-11.

- Miller E, Paull DE, Morrissey K, Cortese A, Nowak E. Scalpel versus electrocautery in modified radical mastectomy. Am J Surg. 1988; 54: 284-6.

- Galatius H, Okholm M, Hoffmann J. Mastectomy using ultrasonic dissection: effect on seroma formation. Breast 2003; 12: 338-41.

- Angele MK, Knoferl MW, Ayala A, Albina JE, Cioffi WG, Bland KI, et al. Trauma-hemorrhage delays wound healing potentially by increasing pro-inflammatory cytokines at the wound site. Surgery 1999; 126: 279-85.

- Henry G, Garner WL. Inflammatory mediators in wound healing. Surg Clin North Am. 2003; 83: 483-507.

- Grellner W, Georg T, Wilske J. Quantitative analysis of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha) in human skin wounds. Forensic Sci Int. 2000; 113: 251-64.

- Grayson LS, Hansbrough JF, Zapata-Sirvent RL, Dore CA, Morgan JL, Nicolson MA, et al. Quantitation of cytokine levels in skin graft donor site wound fluid. Burns 1993; 19: 401-5.

- Chow LW, Loo WT, Yuen KY, Cheng C. The study of cytokine dynamics at the operation site after mastectomy. Wound Repair Regen. 2003; 11: 326-30.

- Stenquist BC, Holt PJ, Motley RJ. Computerized bipolar diathermy with scissors and forceps in cutaneous surgery Dermatol Surg. 2002; 28(7): 601-2.

- Soballe PW, Nimbkar NV, Hayward I, Nielsen TB, Drucker WR. Electric cautery lowers the contamination threshold for infection of laparotomies. Am J Surg. 1998; 175(4): 263-6.

- Rappaport WD, Hunter GC, Allen R, Lick S, Halldorsson A, Chvapil T, Holcomb M, Chvapil M. Effect of electrocautery on wound healing in midline laparotomy incisions Am J Surg. 1990; 160(6): 618-20.

- Groot G, Chappell EW. Electrocautery used to create incisions does not increase wound infection rates Am J Surg. 1994; 167(6): 601-3.

- Kearns SR, Connolly EM, McNally S, McNamara DA, Deasy J. Randomized clinical trial of diathermy versus scalpel incision in elective midline laparotomy. Br J Surg. 2001; 88(1): 41-4.

- Chrysos E, Athanasakis E, Antonakakis S, Xynos E, Zoras O. A prospective study comparing diathermy and scalpel incisions in tension-free inguinal hernioplasty. Am J Surg. 2005; 71(4): 326-9.

- Ali Q, Siddique K, Mirza S, Malik AZ. Comparison of superficial surgical site infection following use of diathermy and scalpel for making skin incision in inguinal hernioplasty. Niger J Clin Pract. 2009; 12(4): 371-4.

- Porter KA, O'Connor S, Rimm E, Lopez M. Electrocautery as a factor in seroma formation following mastectomy. Am J Surg. 1998; 176(1): 8-11.

- Shamim M. Diathermy vs. scalpel skin incisions in general surgery: double-blind, randomized clinical trial. World J Surg. 2009; 33(8): 1594-9.

- Franchi M, Ghezzi F, Benedetti-Panici PL, Melpignano M, Fallo L, Tateo S, Maggi R, Scambia G, Mangili G, Buttarelli M. A multicentre collaborative study on the use of cold scalpel and electrocautery for midline abdominal incision Am J Surg. 2001; 181(2): 128-32.

- Dixon AR, Watkin DF. Electrosurgical skin incision versus conventional scalpel: a prospective trial. J R Coll Surg Edinb. 1990; 35(5): 299-301.

- Chau JK, Dzigielewski P, Mlynarek A, Cote DW, Allen H, Harris JR, Seikaly HR. Steel scalpel versus electrocautery blade: comparison of cosmetic and patient satisfaction outcomes of different incision methods. J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009; 38(4): 427-33.






Internal Medicine & Hospital Medicine