Dr. Gutowski Commentary on His Patient Safety in Body Contouring Publication
Hi. I'm Dr. Karol Gutowski, a plastic surgeon from Chicago. Today, I'd like to discuss our paper, which we published in the September edition of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal. My colleagues and I looked at 5100 patients in the NSQIP database who were having excisional body contouring procedures or breast procedures and liposuction. We wanted to see what kind of risk factors there were for unplanned re-admissions after surgery. We found that older patients, patients with bleeding disorders, patients with prolonged surgery times, and patients who experienced a complication all were at much higher risk of having an unplanned readmission.
Why is this important? Well, first of all, unplanned re-admissions can serve as quality indicators for government agencies, third-party payers, and even hospitals and professional organizations. Second of all, since many of these patients are self-pay, an unplanned readmission or hospital visit can certainly impose a financial burden on a patient.
So what should plastic surgeons do? Well, first of all, if we identify patients who are at high risk, we can educate them, or perhaps we can modify the procedure, do a shorter procedure, stage it over time, or perhaps even advise the patient that they are at a higher risk. Perhaps even more aggressive outpatient monitoring of patients may reduce unplanned re-admissions as complications can be caught earlier. Based on the study, I certainly encourage all plastic surgeons to continue doing quality improvement analysis in their practice to improve patient outcomes and lower unplanned re-admissions. I hope you enjoy the paper. Thank you.