Global Prevalence and Preferences of Progressive Tension Suture Usage in Abdominoplasties

Y. Edward Wen, Cyrus Steppe, Todd A. Pollock, Fabio X. Nahas, Dirk F. Richter, Al Aly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Abdominoplasty is one of the most popular esthetic procedures. Seroma is the most frequent postoperative complication. Two decades of literature have described benefits of quilting sutures/progressive tension sutures (PTS) in reducing seroma rates and other complications in abdominoplasties. Despite this, PTS have not been universally adopted by plastic surgeons (ISAPS international survey on aesthetic/cosmetic procedures performed in 2020, 2021) Furthermore, PTS techniques and preferences vary widely. Objective: The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of PTS use, reasons for reluctance to utilize them, and variety of techniques utilized by plastic surgeons performing abdominoplasties internationally. Methods: A 13-question survey was emailed via ISAPS to 3842 plastic surgeons internationally. Responses were collected and analyzed. Results: Of the 272 respondents, the majority, 58%, currently use PTS. 46% were introduced to PTS during training. Only PTS training exposure was found to significantly correlate with current usage. Only 22% of North American trainees were exposed to PTS compared to 40–62% of trainees from other geographies. Of respondents who utilize PTS, most, 74%, combine them with drains. The majority use interrupted sutures, 65%, while 19% utilize a running suture, and the remaining 16% combine interrupted and running sutures. Of respondents who do not currently utilize PTS, the most common reason stated is that the surgeon’s technique works well without them, 73%, which was significantly correlated with years in practice. Conclusion: Globally, most plastic surgeons currently utilize PTS (typically with drains) with training exposure being a significant predictor. There are still areas to address reluctance to implement them and use them without drains. Level of Evidence III: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAesthetic Plastic Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Global Prevalence and Preferences of Progressive Tension Suture Usage in Abdominoplasties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this