Abdominoplasty improves low back pain and urinary incontinence

D. Alastair Taylor, Steven L. Merten, Gavin D. Sandercoe, Dilip Gahankari, Scott B. Ingram, Nicholas J. Moncrieff, Kevin Ho, Graham D. Sellars, Mark R. Magnusson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: The authors studied the incidence of low back pain and urinary incontinence in the postpartum population presenting for abdominoplasty, and the extent of improvement following the operation. Methods: This multicenter prospective study used validated questionnaires: The Oswestry Disability Index for back pain and the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Urinary Incontinence-Short Form for urinary incontinence. Questionnaires were administered preoperatively and at 6 weeks and 6 months postoperatively. Results: Results cover 214 patients from nine centers. The mean age was 42.1 years, the mean parity was 2.5, and the mean body mass index was 26.3 kg/m2. The mean surgical statistics were as follows: weight removed, 1222 g; liposuction volume, 795 ml; and diastasis, 4.5 cm. Eighty-seven percent of the abdominoplasties were either radical, high lateral tension, or high oblique tension. The mean Oswestry Disability Index score preoperatively was 21.6 percent, and 8.8 percent had no back pain. The mean score was 8 percent at 6 weeks and 3.2 percent at 6 months. These results are statistically significant. The mean International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire score preoperatively was 6.5; of the patients assessed, 27.5 percent had no incontinence. This score fell to 1.6 at 6 weeks, and the same, 1.6, at 6 months. These results are also statistically significant. Preoperative predictors of back pain were body mass index greater than 25 kg/m2 and umbilical hernia; predictors of incontinence were age older than 40 years and vaginal deliveries. There were no significant predictors of postoperative back pain or urinary incontinence improvement at 6 months. All methods of abdominoplasty produced similar improvement. Conclusion: Abdominoplasty with rectus repair creates a significant improvement in the functional symptoms of low back pain and urinary incontinence. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 141: 637, 2018.) CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, IV.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)637-645
    Number of pages9
    JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


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