The latest medical research on Plastic Surgery

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A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats: Impact of Combined Volume of Complex Cancer Operations on Surgical Outcomes in a Low-Volume Setting.

American College of Surgeons

Centralization for complex cancer surgery may not always be feasible owing to socioeconomic disparities, geographic constraints, or patient preference. The present study investigates how the combined volume of complex cancer operations impacts postoperative outcomes at hospitals that are low-volume for a specific high-risk cancer operation.

Patients who underwent pneumonectomy, esophagectomy, gastrectomy, hepatectomy, pancreatectomy, or proctectomy were identified from the National Cancer Database (2004-2017). For every operation, 3 separate cohorts were created: low-volume hospitals (LVH) for both the individual cancer operation and the total number of those complex operations, mixed-volume hospital (MVH) with low volume for the individual cancer operation but high volume for total number of complex operations, and high-volume hospitals (HVH) for each specific operation.

LVH was significantly (all p ≤ 0.01) predictive for 30-day mortality compared with HVH across all operations: pneumonectomy (9.5% vs 7.9%), esophagectomy (5.6% vs 3.2%), gastrectomy (6.8% vs 3.6%), hepatectomy (5.9% vs 3.2%), pancreatectomy (4.7% vs 2.3%), and proctectomy (2.4% vs 1.3%). Patients who underwent surgery at MVH and HVH demonstrated similar 30-day mortality: esophagectomy (3.2 vs 3.2%; p = 0.993), gastrectomy (3.2% vs 3.6%; p = 0.637), hepatectomy (3.8% vs 3.2%; p = 0.233), pancreatectomy (2.8% vs 2.3%; p = 0.293), and proctectomy (1.2% vs 1.3%; p = 0.843). Patients who underwent pneumonectomy at MVH demonstrated lower 30-day mortality compared with HVH (5.4% vs 7.9%; p = 0.045).

Patients who underwent complex operations at MVH had similar postoperative outcomes to those at HVH. MVH provide a model for the centralization of complex cancer surgery for patients who do not receive their care at HVH.

Critically Appraising the Quality of Reporting of American College of Surgeons TQIP Studies in the Era of Large Data Research.

American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons-Trauma Quality Improvement Program (ACS-TQIP) database is one of the most widely used databases for trauma research. We aimed to critically appraise the quality of the methodological reporting of ACS-TQIP studies.

The ACS-TQIP bibliography was queried for all studies published between January 2018 and January 2021. The quality of data reporting was assessed using the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology-Reporting of Studies Conducted Using Observational Routinely Collected Health Data (STROBE-RECORD) statement and the JAMA Surgery checklist. Three items from each tool were not applicable and thus excluded. The quality of reporting was compared between high- and low-impact factor (IF) journals (cutoff for high IF is >90th percentile of all surgical journals).

A total of 118 eligible studies were included; 12 (10%) were published in high-IF journals. The median (interquartile range) number of criteria fulfilled was 5 (4-6) for the STROBE-RECORD statement (of 10 items) and 5 (5-6) for the JAMA Surgery checklist (of 7 items). Specifically, 73% of studies did not describe the patient population selection process, 61% did not address data cleaning or the implications of missing values, and 76% did not properly state inclusion/exclusion criteria and/or outcome variables. Studies published in high-IF journals had remarkably higher quality of reporting than those in low-IF journals.

The methodological reporting quality of ACS-TQIP studies remains suboptimal. Future efforts should focus on improving adherence to standard reporting guidelines to mitigate potential bias and improve the reproducibility of published studies.

Anastomosis Time and Outcomes after Donation after Circulatory Death Kidney Transplantation.

American College of Surgeons

At every stage in the transplantation process for a deceased-donor kidney, time means ischemia. Donation after circulatory death (DCD) kidneys are already subject to warm ischemia in the donor, but another underappreciated component of warm ischemia time is the time required for anastomosis prior to reperfusion. We studied the effect of anastomosis time (AT) on outcomes after DCD kidney transplantation.

This is a retrospective study of the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, including all US adult DCD kidney transplantation recipients from 2009 to 2015 (N = 6,397). Our exposure was AT (time out of cold storage until reperfusion, quartiles). Outcomes included delayed graft function (DGF), death-censored graft survival, and overall patient survival. Multivariable logistic and Cox regression quantified the association of AT with outcomes, adjusting for donor and recipient factors (including donor warm ischemia time).

AT accounted for 67% of total warm ischemia time on average, with a median AT of 38 minutes (median total warm ischemia 56 minutes). Longer AT (fourth [≥48min] vs first quartile [≤30min]) was associated with increased DGF (odds ratio = 1.19, p = 0.024) and increased graft failure (hazard ratio = 1.21, p = 0.043) but was not associated with patient survival. Comparing patients with the longest vs shortest AT, adjusted DGF incidence was 44.0% vs 36.7% (p = 0.024), and 5-year graft survival was 84.8% vs 88.2% (p = 0.004).

Prolonged AT is associated with worse graft outcomes in DCD kidney transplant recipients. Efforts to minimize rewarming during implantation and optimize AT may improve graft outcomes.

Intra-amniotic Injection of Poly(lactic-co-glycolic Acid) Microparticles Loaded with Growth Factor: Effect on Tissue Coverage and Cellular Apoptosis in the Rat Model of Myelomeningocele.

American College of Surgeons

Myelomeningocele (MMC) is a devastating congenital neurologic disorder that can lead to lifelong morbidity and has limited treatment options. This study investigates the use of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microparticles (MPs) loaded with fibroblast growth factor (FGF) as a platform for in utero treatment of MMC.

Intra-amniotic injections of PLGA MPs were performed on gestational day 17 (E17) in all-trans retinoic acid-induced MMC rat dams. MPs loaded with fluorescent dye (DiO) were evaluated 3 hours after injection to determine incidence of binding to the MMC defect. Fetuses were then treated with PBS or PLGA particles loaded with DiO, bovine serum albumin, or FGF and evaluated at term (E21). Fetuses with MMC defects were evaluated for gross and histologic evidence of soft tissue coverage. The effect of PLGA-FGF treatment on spinal cord cell death was evaluated using an in situ cell death kit.

PLGA-DiO MPs had a binding incidence of 86% and 94% 3 hours after injection at E17 for doses of 0.1 mg and 1.2 mg, respectively. Incidence of soft tissue coverage at term was 19% (4 of 21), 22% (2 of 9), and 83% (5 of 6) for PLGA-DiO, PLGA-BSA, and PLGA-FGF, respectively. At E21, the percentage of spinal cord cells positive for in situ cell death was significantly higher in MMC controls compared with wild-type controls or MMC pups treated with PLGA-FGF.

PLGA MPs are an innovative minimally invasive platform for induction of soft tissue coverage in the rat model of MMC and may reduce cellular apoptosis.

Patient Factors Associated with High Opioid Consumption after Common Surgical Procedures Following State-Mandated Opioid Prescription Regulations.

American College of Surgeons

State regulations have decreased prescribed opioids with more than 25% of patients abstaining from opioids. Despite this, 2 distinct populations of patients exist who consume "high" or "low" amounts of opioids. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with postoperative opioid use after common surgical procedures and develop an opioid risk score.

Patients undergoing 35 surgical procedures from 7 surgical specialties were identified at a 620-bed tertiary care academic center and surveyed 1 week after discharge regarding opioid use and adequacy of analgesia. Electronic medical record data were used to characterize postdischarge opioids, complications, demographics, medical history, and social factors. High opioid use was defined as >75th percentile morphine milligram equivalents for each procedure. An opioid risk score was calculated from factors associated with opioid use identified by backward multivariate logistic regression analysis.

A total of 1,185 patients were enrolled between September 2017 and February 2019. Bivariate analyses revealed patient factors associated with opioid use including earlier substance use (p < 0.001), depression (p = 0.003), anxiety (p < 0.001), asthma (p = 0.006), obesity (p = 0.03), migraine (p = 0.004), opioid use in the 7 days before surgery (p < 0.001), and 31 Clinical Classifications Software Refined classifications (p < 0.05). Significant multivariates included: insurance (p = 0.005), employment status (p = 0.005), earlier opioid use (odds ratio [OR] 2.38 [95% CI 1.21 to 4.68], p = 0.01), coronary artery disease (OR 0.38 [95% CI 0.16 to 0.86], p = 0.02), acute pulmonary embolism (OR 9.81 [95% CI 3.01 to 32.04], p < 0.001), benign breast conditions (OR 3.42 [95% CI 1.76 to 6.64], p < 0.001), opioid-related disorders (OR 6.67 [95% CI 1.87 to 23.75], p = 0.003), mental and substance use disorders (OR 3.80 [95% CI 1.47 to 9.83], p = 0.006), headache (OR 1.82 [95% CI 1.24 to 2.67], p = 0.002), and previous cesarean section (OR 5.10 [95% CI 1.33 to 19.56], p = 0.02). An opioid risk score base was developed with an area under the curve of 0.696 for the prediction of high opioid use.

Preoperative patient characteristics associated with high opioid use postoperatively were identified and an opioid risk score was derived. Identification of patients with a higher need for opioids presents an opportunity for improved preoperative interventions, the use of nonopioid analgesic therapies, and alternative therapies.

Color Doppler Sonography Assisted Subcutaneous Mastectomy with Inferior Pedicled Nipple-Areola Complex in Female-to-Male Transsexuals: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis.

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

The surgical goals of gender reassignment surgery of the breast in female-to male transsexuals (FMT) is the aesthetic shaping of a male thoracic wall with minimal scarring, while preserving the sensitivity of the nipple-areola complex (NAC). For large and ptotic breasts, we perform a mastectomy over an inframammary access with inferior pedicled NAC under color Doppler visualization of the perforators. This paper presents the technique, including complications and assessment of quality of life, as part of a unicentric analysis.

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 www.springer.com/00266 .

A total of 46 mastectomies were performed in 23 patients. The patient survey showed high patient satisfaction. Loss of nipple sensitivity was observed after one mastectomy (2.17%). In 91.67% of cases, patients reported that their appearance reflected how they feel on the inside. In 75% of cases, patients reported feeling equal to other men. The overall complication rate was 10.87%. Shape correction due to persistent excess of volume was rare (2.17%, equivalent to one mastectomy).

Subcutaneous mastectomy with inferior nipple pedicle can be performed with a high degree of safety and satisfaction in FMT. Color Doppler-guided visualization of the perforator vessels is helpful in allowing a thin pedicle preparation, thus reducing the need for secondary surgeries to optimize the shape.

Effect of Lactate Export Inhibition on Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Growth and Metabolism.

American College of Surgeons

Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is an aggressive malignancy without effective treatments. ATC cells demonstrate upregulated glycolysis (Warburg effect), generating lactate that is subsequently exported by monocarboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4). This study aims to determine whether MCT4 inhibition can suppress ATC growth.

ATC cell lines 8505C, JL30, and TCO1 were grown in low (3 mmol/L; LG) or high (25 mmol/L; HG) glucose medium containing the lactate shuttle inhibitors acriflavine (10-25 μmol/L; ACF), syrosingopine (100 µmol/L; SYR), or AZD3965 (20 µmol/L; AZD). Lactate level and cell proliferation were measured with standard assays. Seahorse analysis was performed to determine glycolytic response.

Compared with HG, addition of ACF to LG decreased lactate secretion for both 8505C (p < 10-5) and JL30 (p < 10-4) cells, whereas proliferation was also reduced (p < 10-4 and 10-5, respectively). During Seahorse analysis, addition of oligomycin increased acidification by 84 mpH/min in HG vs 10 mpH/min in LG containing ACF (p < 10-5). Treatment with LG and SYR drastically diminished 8505C and TCO1 growth vs HG (p < 0.01 for both). LG and AZD treatment also led to reduced proliferation in tested cell lines (p ≤ 0.01 for all) that was further decreased by addition of ACF (p < 10-4 vs HG, p ≤ 0.01 vs LG and AZD).

Inhibition of lactate shuttles significantly reduced proliferation and glycolytic capacity of ATC cells in a low-glucose environment. Targeting suppression of glycolytic and lactate processing pathways may represent an effective treatment strategy for ATC.

Aging of the Neck Decoded: New Insights for Minimally Invasive Treatments.

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

Many signs of aging manifest in the neck region, including platysmal bands, excess skin, horizontal neck lines and decreasing contour of the neck. While the clinical signs of an aged neck are well-known, data determining the underlying aging process are limited.

To decode aging of the neck.

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 www.springer.com/00266 .

Mean firmness of skin decreased significantly from young to old individuals (0.37 ± 0.13 mm, 0.30 ± 0.12 mm and 0.26 ± 0.12 mm in young, middle and old subjects, respectively; p < 0.001). Gross elasticity decreased significantly from 75.1 ± 13.0% in young subjects, to 64.53 ± 15.7% in middle-aged subjects and 55.79 ± 13.0% in old subjects (p < 0.001). The mean y-axis skin displacement increased from 2.48 ± 4.33 mm in young subjects, to 3.11 ± 4.49 mm in middle-aged subjects and 3.61 ± 5.38 mm in old subjects (p = 0.006). The mean signal-to-noise ratio decreased significantly from 16.74 ± 5.77 µV in young subjects, to 14.41 ± 4.86 µV in middle-aged subjects and to 12.23 ± 5.99 µV in old subjects (p < 0.001).

This study provides insights into the interplay between skin elasticity, muscular activity and the reflected movement of the skin of the neck. Appreciation of these age-related changes lays the fundament for aesthetic treatments in this delicate region.

Postpartum Depression in Surgeons and Workplace Support for Obstetric and Neonatal Complication: Results of a National Study of US Surgeons.

American College of Surgeons

Postpartum depression has well-established long-term adverse effects on maternal and infant health. Surgeons with rigorous operative schedules are at higher risk of obstetric complications, but they rarely reduce their workload during pregnancy. We evaluated whether lack of workplace support for work reductions during difficult pregnancies or after neonatal complications is associated with surgeon postpartum depression.

An electronic survey was sent to practicing and resident surgeons of both sexes in the US. Female surgeons who had at least one live birth were included. Lack of workplace support was defined as: (1) disagreeing that colleagues/leadership were supportive of obstetric-mandated bedrest or time off to care for an infant in the neonatal intensive care unit; (2) feeling unable to reduce clinical duties during pregnancy despite health concerns or to care for an infant in the neonatal intensive care unit. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the association of lack of workplace support with postpartum depression.

Six hundred ninety-two surgeons were included. The 441 (63.7%) respondents who perceived a lack of workplace support had a higher risk of postpartum depression than those who did not perceive a lack of workplace support (odds ratio 2.21, 95% CI 1.09 to 4.46), controlling for age, race, career stage, and pregnancy/neonatal complications. Of the surgeons with obstetric-related work restrictions, 22.6% experienced loss of income and 38.5% reported >$50,000 loss.

Lack of workplace support for surgeons with obstetric or neonatal health concerns is associated with a higher risk of postpartum depression. Institutional policies must address the needs of surgeons facing difficult pregnancies to improve mental health outcomes and promote career longevity.

Understanding the Effect of Bias on the Experience of Women Surgeons: A Qualitative Study.

American College of Surgeons

Exploring the lived experiences of surgeons is necessary to understand the changing culture of surgery and the unique challenges of being a woman in surgery. Surgeons have significant experiences and observations best discovered through qualitative study. The purpose of this study is to identify the similarities and differences between the experiences of men and women surgeons after initiation of mandatory microaggression training.

Qualitative semi-structured interviews with female and male surgeons and residents were done following a year-long series of training sessions on the detrimental effects of microaggression. Participants were selected using a convenience sampling method. MAXQDA coding software (Verbi) was used to evaluate interview transcripts with thematic analysis.

Nineteen surgeons and surgical residents were interviewed. The participants were of equal gender identification, with the majority being attending surgeons. Multiple themes highlighted similarities and differences between male and female participants. Differences were noted in identification of a sensitive personality, family planning considerations, and experiences of bias. Similarities were related to the personality traits required to be successful in surgery, the sacrifice inherent to a surgical career, and the war rhetoric used to describe the comradery of residency.

The challenges and rewards of surgery are similar for women and men, but women have additional stressors, including gender-based bias, microaggression, and family planning. These stressors take up energy, decreasing the mental space available for additional roles and affecting the work environment. Microaggression education can incite necessary discussions of bias and provide women with an opportunity to reflect on and share their experiences.

Evolving Metrics of Quality for Kidney Transplant Candidates: Transplant Center Variability in Delisting and 1-Year Mortality.

American College of Surgeons

Management of patients on the kidney transplant waitlist lacks oversight, and transplant centers can delist candidates without consequence. To better understand between-center differences in waitlist management, we examined delisting rates and mortality after delisting within 3 years of removal from the kidney transplant waitlist.

This is a retrospective cohort study using data from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients of adults listed for deceased donor kidney transplant in 2015 and followed until the end of 2018. Patients of interest were those delisted for reasons other than transplant, death, or transfer. Centers were excluded if they had fewer than 20 waitlisted patients per year. We calculated probability of delisting and death after delisting using multivariable competing risk models.

During follow-up, 14.2% of patients were delisted. The median probability of delisting within 3 years, adjusted for center-level variability, was 7.0% (interquartile range [IQR]: 3.9% to 10.6%). Median probability of death was 58.2% (IQR: 40% to 73.4%). There was no meaningful correlation between probability of delisting and death (τ = -0.05, p = 0.34).

There is significant variability in the rate of death after delisting across kidney transplant centers. Likelihood of transplant is extremely important to candidates, and improved data collection efforts are needed to inform whether current delisting practices are successfully removing patients who could not meaningfully benefit from transplant, or whether certain populations may benefit from remaining on the list and maintaining eligibility.

Appendiceal Cancer in the National Cancer Database: Increasing Frequency, Decreasing Age, and Shifting Histology.

American College of Surgeons

Nonoperative management of acute appendicitis is increasingly common. However, small studies have demonstrated high rates of appendiceal cancer in interval appendectomy specimens. Therefore, we sought to identify national trends in appendiceal cancer incidence and histology.

The National Cancer Database was queried for patients 18 years or older, diagnosed with a right-sided colon cancer (including appendiceal) from 2004 to 2017 who had undergone surgery. Outcomes included trends in appendiceal cancer compared with right-sided colon cancers and trends in appendiceal cancer histology. Logistic regression was used to assess trends over time while adjusting for patient age, insurance, income, area of residence, and comorbidity. Predicted probabilities of the outcomes were derived from the logistic regression models.

Of 387,867 patients with right-sided colon cancer, 19,570 had appendiceal cancer and of those 5,628 had a carcinoid tumor. Odds of appendiceal cancer, relative to other right-sided colon cancers, increased from 2004 to 2017 (odds ratio [OR] 2.56, 95% CI 2.35-2.79). The increase occurred in all age groups; however, it was more markedly increased in patients 40-49 years old (2004: 10%, 95% CI 9-12 to 2017: 18%, 95% CI 16-20; pairwise comparisons p < 0.001). Odds of appendiceal carcinoid, relative to other appendiceal histologies, increased from 2004 to 2017 (OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.40-2.07) with the greatest increase in probability of a carcinoid in patients younger than 40 years old (2004: 24%, 95% CI 15-34 to 2017: 45%, 95% CI 37-53; pairwise comparisons p < 0.001).

Appendiceal cancer has increased over time, and the increase appears to be driven by a rise in carcinoids, most prevalent in patients 49 years of age or younger. When nonoperative management of acute appendicitis is undertaken, close follow-up may be appropriate given these findings.