Postpartum Abdominoplasty Improves Back Pain, Incontinence

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The mean Oswestry Disability Index score was 21.6% preoperatively, and 8.8% of patients had no back pain.
The mean Oswestry Disability Index score was 21.6% preoperatively, and 8.8% of patients had no back pain.

HealthDay News — Abdominoplasty in the postpartum population improves low back pain and urinary incontinence, according to a study published online in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

D. Alastair Taylor, from Macquarie University in Sydney, and colleagues conducted a multicenter prospective study using validated questionnaires to examine the incidence of low back pain and urinary incontinence in postpartum women presenting for abdominoplasty and the extent of improvement after the procedure.

A total of 214 participants completed questionnaires preoperatively and at six weeks and six months postoperatively.

The researchers found that the mean Oswestry Disability Index score was 21.6 percent preoperatively, and 8.8 percent of patients had no back pain. At six weeks, the mean score was 8, and it was 3.2 percent at six months, both statistically significant decreases.

The mean International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire score was 6.5 preoperatively; 27.5 percent of patients assessed had no incontinence. The score decreased to 1.6 at both six weeks and six months; these decreases were also statistically significant. Body mass index greater than 25 kg/m² and umbilical hernia were preoperative predictors of back pain.

Predictors of incontinence included age >40 years and vaginal deliveries. There were no significant predictors of improvement in postoperative back pain or urinary incontinence at six months.

"Abdominoplasty with rectus repair creates a significant improvement in the functional symptoms of low back pain and urinary incontinence," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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