INTRODUCTION: The valuation of appearance, combined with patterns and parameters imposed by the beauty and fashion industries, and disseminated by the media, generates questions about the real value of beauty. Distortions in these parameters lead patients, dissatisfied with their bodies, to medical clinics. Concomitantly, there are dysfunctional physical complaints and their consequences. Plastic Surgery, in this context, aims at improving the quality of life and acceptance of one's body. Abdominoplasty, or abdominal dermolipectomy, is a highly used surgical procedure. However, few evaluations regarding the personal image and the quality of life in the postoperative period exist. The objective is to evaluate the improvement of the quality of life and the body image in patients who underwent an abdominal dermolipectomy as an elective procedure, and to understand the physical-psychological implications related to body disorders.
METHODS: The WHOQOL-BREF instrument was administered to 15 patients with abdominal lipodystrophy who underwent an abdominal dermolipectomy at the Clinic of Plastic Surgery at the University Hospital of the Federal University of Juiz de Fora and Plastic Center Clinic. The instrument was administered thrice: once during the pre-operative period and then at two and six months postoperatively.
RESULTS: On comparing the pre and postoperative stages, we found a statistically significant improvement in the quality of life of patients with respect to the psychological domain (p < 0.05). In the physical domain, the relationship between the three stages was also statistically significant, considering a p value < 0.07.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of abdominoplasty in the treatment of abdominal lipodystrophy has an impact on the improvement of the quality of life of these patients, mainly in the physical and psychological domains; this is in agreement with previous studies.
Keywords: Lipodystrophy; Abdominoplasty; Reconstructive surgical procedures; Quality of life; Personal satisfaction; Surveys and questionnaires.