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Satisfaction With Information Predicts Satisfaction With Outcome and Surgeon in Black and Hispanic Patients Undergoing Breast Reconstruction

Zong, Amanda M; Leibl, Kayla E; Weichman, Katie E
BACKGROUND:Racial disparities in American healthcare contribute to worse outcomes among minority patients. Minority patients undergoing breast reconstruction are more likely to report dissatisfaction with their reconstruction process as compared with White patients, yet there is limited research exploring contributory factors. This study investigates which process-of-care, clinical, and surgical variables are most strongly correlated with Black and Hispanic patients' reported satisfaction. METHODS:A retrospective review of all patients who underwent postmastectomy breast reconstruction at a single academic center from 2015 to 2021 was performed. Patients were included for analysis if they identified as Black or Hispanic and completed preoperative, less than 1-year postoperative, and 1- to 3-year postoperative BREAST-Q surveys. At both postoperative time points, the association between satisfaction with outcome and surgeon and selected independent variables was determined using regression analysis. RESULTS:One hundred eighteen Black and Hispanic patients were included for analysis, with average age 49.59 ± 9.51 years and body mass index 30.11 ± 5.00 kg/m2. In the multivariate model for predicting satisfaction with outcome, only satisfaction with preoperative information (P < 0.001) was a statistically significant predictor during early and late postoperative evaluations. For predicting satisfaction with surgeon, satisfaction with information (P < 0.001) remained a significant predictor in the early and late postoperative evaluations, with lower body mass index as an additionally significant predictor during the late postoperative period. CONCLUSIONS:Patient satisfaction with preoperative information received is the single most significant factor associated with Black and Hispanic patient satisfaction with outcome and plastic surgeon. This finding encourages further research on effective and culturally inclusive information delivery so as to both improve patient satisfaction and reduce healthcare disparities.
PMID: 36880772
ISSN: 1536-3708
CID: 5432662

A Critical Analysis of Factors Associated With Anteroposterior Implant Flipping in Immediate Breast Reconstruction

Leibl, Kayla E; Hwang, Lyahn K; Anderson, Cassidy; Weichman, Katie E
BACKGROUND:Implant-based reconstruction remains the most common form of postmastectomy breast reconstruction. With ever-evolving device characteristics, including the advent of high-profile, cohesive, fifth-generation implants, the incidence of anterior-posterior flipping of implants is presenting a new challenge. Patient and device characteristics associated with this phenomenon have yet to be fully elucidated. METHODS:Patients who underwent nipple- or skin-sparing mastectomy with subsequent 2-stage or direct-to-implant reconstruction with smooth implants between 2015 and 2021 were retrospectively identified and stratified by incidence of implant flipping. Patient, procedural, and device characteristics were evaluated. RESULTS:Within 165 patients (255 reconstructed breasts), 14 cases of implant flipping were identified (flip rate 5.5%). All flips occurred in patients with cohesive implants (odds ratio [OR], 87.0; P = 0.002). On univariate analysis, extra full implant profile (OR, 11.2; P < 0.001) and use of a smooth tissue expander for 2-stage reconstruction (OR, 4.1; P = 0.03) were associated with flipping. Implants that flipped were larger than those that did not (652.5 ± 117.8 vs 540.1 ± 171.0 mL, P = 0.0004). Prepectoral implant placement (OR, 2.7; P = 0.08) and direct-to-implant method (OR, 3.17; P = 0.07) trended toward association, but this effect was not significant. Patient BMI, weight fluctuation during the reconstructive course, mastectomy weight, AlloDerm use, and history of seroma or periprosthetic infection were not associated with flipping. CONCLUSION:Patients who receive a highly cohesive, high profile, larger implant are at increased risk for implant flipping. In addition, patients who receive a smooth tissue expander are more likely to experience flipping of their subsequent implant, compared with those who had textured tissue expanders. These characteristics warrant consideration during device selection to minimize discomfort, aesthetic deformity, and the need for reoperation.
PMID: 36975133
ISSN: 1536-3708
CID: 5538112

Do larger reductions yield larger returns? patient-reported outcomes as a function of specimen weight in bilateral reduction mammoplasty

Yao, Amy; LaFontaine, Samantha; Sultan, Steven M; Rizzo, Amanda M; Draper, Lawrence; Benacquista, Teresa; Weichman, Katie E
BACKGROUND:Patients undergoing breast reduction mammoplasty for symptomatic macromastia have a significantly improved quality of life postoperatively. However, there are no data that examine the effect of reduction mammoplasty on quality of life as a function of the weight of tissue removed. Because the process by which insurance providers consider patients' candidacy for this breast reduction mammoplasty is most often based on the proposed weight of tissue to be removed, this gap in our understanding is particularly glaring. We therefore designed a prospective trial with the intent of investigating the correlation between breast reduction specimen weight and postoperative pain and quality of life. METHODS:After obtaining institutional review board (IRB) approval, patients presenting for breast reduction mammoplasty at a single academic medical center between January 2016 and September 2019 were prospectively enrolled in the study. Study participants completed the Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NPRS), the short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ), and the BREAST-Q at set time points (preoperatively, 1 week/1 month/3 months/6 months postoperatively). Patients were divided into three cohorts based on breast reduction specimen weights: small (<500 g reduction), intermediate (500-1000 g reduction), and large (>1000 g reduction). The surveys were then analyzed while controlling for demographic factors and complications. RESULTS:A total of 85 women were enrolled in the study and completed pre- and postoperative surveys (small reduction n = 21 (25%), intermediate n = 45 (53%), and large n = 19 (22%)). Regardless of reduction specimen weight, patients reported decreased overall pain and increased satisfaction with their breasts, as well as improved psychosocial, sexual, and physical well-being at each postoperative visit. Preoperative SF-MPQ pain scores were significantly lower in the small specimen weight group compared with either the intermediate or the large group (p = 0.001). Postoperatively, both the intermediate and large groups reported significant improvement in pain at each time point. The small specimen weight group did not report significant pain improvement until 3 months postoperatively. CONCLUSIONS:Patients undergoing breast reduction mammoplasty experience decreased pain and improved quality of life regardless of reduction specimen weight. Improvement in these parameters manifests as early as 1 week postoperatively and maintained at 3 months postoperatively. These data suggest that many patients who are denied coverage for reduction mammoplasty on the basis of low projected reduction specimen weight would derive significant benefit from the procedure.
PMID: 33893055
ISSN: 1878-0539
CID: 4852762

Enhancing Microsurgical Assistant Experience with Bifocal Safety Glasses: A Low-Cost Alternative to Surgical Loupes

Greige, Nicolas; Weichman, Katie E
PMID: 34110322
ISSN: 1529-4242
CID: 4900162

Estimation of Profunda Artery Perforator Flap Weight Using Preoperative Computed Tomography Angiography

Greige, Nicolas; Nash, David; Salibian, Ara A; Sultan, Steven M; Ricci, Joseph A; Thanik, Vishal D; Weichman, Katie E
BACKGROUND: Given the relatively small size of thigh-based flaps and the possible necessity for a multiflap reconstruction, it is imperative to arrive at an accurate estimation of flap weight during preoperative planning. It was our objective to develop a novel technique for the preoperative estimation of profunda artery perforator (PAP) flap weight. METHODS: All patients that underwent transverse PAP flap breast reconstruction at two institutions were retrospectively reviewed. Subcutaneous tissue thicknesses were measured on axial computed tomography angiography scans at several predetermined points. The distance from the inferior gluteal crease to the PAP was also recorded. Linear regression was used to estimate flap weight. RESULTS:has a value of 1 if the patient was scanned in the supine position or 0 if prone. The aforementioned formula yielded a median estimated flap weight of 305 g (IQR: 234-402) and a median percent error of 10.5% (IQR: 6.1-16.2). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS: The authors demonstrate a simple and accurate formula for the preoperative estimation of transverse PAP flap weight for breast reconstruction.
PMID: 32583383
ISSN: 1098-8947
CID: 4493452

Patient Reported Satisfaction and Quality of Life in Obese Patients: A Comparison Between Microsurgical and Prosthetic Implant Recipients

Kamel, George N; Mehta, Karan; Nash, David; Jacobson, Joshua; Berk, Robin; Rizzo, Amanda M; Greige, Nicolas; Benacquista, Teresa; Garfein, Evan S; Weichman, Katie E
PMID: 32852474
ISSN: 1529-4242
CID: 4575822

Revisiting the internal mammaries as recipient vessels in breast reconstruction: considerations in current practice

Sultan, Steven M; Rizzo, Amanda M; Erhard, Heather A; Benacquista, Teresa; Weichman, Katie E
BACKGROUND:The internal mammary artery (IMA) has supplanted the thoracodorsal artery as the primary recipient vessel in autologous breast reconstruction. Additionally, the IMA continues to be the preferred bypass graft choice in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). However, practice patterns in breast reconstruction have evolved considerably since the adoption of the IMA for this application. The authors sought to evaluate the safety of IMA harvest for breast reconstruction in our current practice, given the possibility that patients may require CABG in the future. METHODS:The authors reviewed the prospective database of free flaps for breast reconstruction performed at their center from 2009 to 2017. Patients were divided into three groups (2009-2011, 2011-2013, 2014-2017) and compared on the basis of demographics, medical comorbidities, and laterality of reconstruction. Patients were further risk stratified for 10-year risk of cardiovascular events using the American College of Cardiology's atheroscletoric and cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk calculator. RESULTS:There was a marked increase in the number of patients who underwent microsurgical breast reconstruction at our institution over the past three years (2009-2011, n = 55; 2012-2014, n = 50; 2015-2017, n = 145). The distribution of unilateral versus bilateral flaps changed meaningfully; however, they did not change statistically significantly over the study period (2009-2011 = 32.7%, 2012-2014 = 28.0%, 2015-2017 = 49.0%, p = 0.12). The rise in bilateral reconstructions over the study period is commensurate with the observed significant rise in contralateral prophylactic mastectomies (2009-2011 = 25.5%, 2012-2014 = 20.0%, 2015-2017 = 42.1%, p = 0.022). The mean 10-year risk of major cardiovascular events in the entire sample was 6.3 ± 7.1% (median 4.0%). The maximum individual risk score exceeded 25% in all three groups. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Given overall trends in breast reconstruction and the sometimes-elevated cardiac risk profiles of our patients, the authors recommend risk stratification of all patients using the proposed Breast Reconstruction Internal Mammary Assessment (BRIMA) scoring system and consideration of left internal mammary artery preservation in select cases.
PMID: 32888141
ISSN: 1573-7217
CID: 4588502

Early Surgical Management of Medical Tourism Complications Improves Patient Outcomes

Adabi, Kian; Stern, Carrie S; Kinkhabwala, Corin M; Weichman, Katie E; Garfein, Evan S; Tepper, Oren M; Conejero, J Alejandro
BACKGROUND:Complications from medical tourism can be significant, requiring aggressive treatment at initial presentation. This study evaluates the effect of early surgical versus conservative management on readmission rates and costs. METHODS:A single-center retrospective review was conducted from May of 2013 to May of 2017 of patients presenting with soft-tissue infections after cosmetic surgery performed abroad. Patients were categorized into two groups based on their management at initial presentation as either conservative or surgical. Demographic information, the procedures performed abroad, and the severity of infection were included. The authors' primary outcome was the incidence of readmission in the two groups. International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision; International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision; and CPT codes were used for direct-billed cost analysis. RESULTS:Fifty-three patients (one man and 52 women) presented with complications after procedures performed abroad, of which 37 were soft-tissue infections. Twenty-four patients with soft-tissue infections at initial presentation were managed conservatively, and 13 patients were treated surgically. The two groups were similar in patient demographics and type of procedure performed abroad. Patients who were managed conservatively at initial presentation had a higher rate of readmission despite having lower severity of infections (OR, 4.7; p = 0.037). A significantly lower total cost of treatment was shown with early surgical management of these complications (p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS:Conservative management of complications from medical tourism has resulted in a high incidence of failure, leading to readmission and increased costs. This can contribute to poor outcomes in patients that are already having complications from cosmetic surgery. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:Therapeutic, III.
PMID: 32332529
ISSN: 1529-4242
CID: 4411552

Analysis of Trends in the Selection and Production of U.S. Academic Plastic Surgery Faculty

Daneshgaran, Giulia; Cooper, Michael N; Ni, Pauline; Zhou, Sarah; Weichman, Katie E; Wong, Alex K
In academic plastic surgery, there is a paucity of data examining the relationship between program rank, faculty training history, and production of academic program graduates. The purpose of this study is to determine objective faculty characteristics that are associated with a high program reputation.
PMID: 32095411
ISSN: 2169-7574
CID: 4323252

Patient-Reported Satisfaction and Quality of Life in Obese Patients: A Comparison between Microsurgical and Prosthetic Implant Recipients

Kamel, George N; Mehta, Karan; Nash, David; Jacobson, Joshua; Berk, Robin; Rizzo, Amanda M; Greige, Nicolas; Benacquista, Teresa; Garfein, Evan S; Weichman, Katie E
BACKGROUND:Patients undergoing autologous breast reconstruction have higher rates of patient-reported satisfaction compared to patients undergoing prosthetic reconstruction. Obesity has been shown to increase postoperative complications in both microsurgical and implant reconstructions. The authors evaluated the effects of microsurgical breast reconstruction and prosthetic breast reconstruction on patient-reported outcomes and quality of life in obese patients. METHODS:A retrospective review of obese patients who underwent breast reconstruction from January of 2009 to December of 2017 was conducted. Patients were divided into two cohorts: microsurgical and two-stage tissue expander/implant-based reconstruction. BREAST-Q survey response, demographic information, complications, and need for revision procedures were analyzed. RESULTS:One hundred fifty-five patients met the inclusion criteria: 75 (48.4 percent) underwent microsurgical breast reconstruction and 80 (51.6 percent) underwent implant-based reconstruction. Cohorts were similar in body mass index, mean mastectomy specimen weight, laterality, indication for surgery, smoking status, and postoperative complications. Microsurgical reconstruction patients were younger (49.0 years versus 53.0 years; p = 0.02) and more likely to have delayed reconstruction [n = 70 (64.2 percent) versus n = 0 (0.0 percent); p = 0.0001]. BREAST-Q responses showed that microsurgery patients were more satisfied with their breasts (Q-Score of 63.4 ± 6.9 versus 50.8 ± 12.8; p = 0.0001), overall outcome (Q-Score 70.5 ± 13.0 versus 60.3 ± 10.8; p = 0.0001), and chest physical well-being (Q-Score of 69.1 ± 10.9 versus 63.8 ± 8.2; p = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS:Microsurgical breast reconstruction in obese patients yields higher satisfaction with breasts, overall outcomes, and chest physical well-being than implant-based reconstruction. Despite increased postoperative complications associated with obesity, microsurgical breast reconstruction appears to be a good choice for women who understand its risks and benefits and choose to proceed with it.
PMID: 31764628
ISSN: 1529-4242
CID: 4237512