Learning From Our International Colleagues: A US Plastic Surgeon’s Perspective

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Abstract

Background

With growing contribution to plastic surgery by our international colleagues, one may be wondering about what US plastic surgeons have learned from them. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a single surgeon’s experience to identify any specific areas of plastic surgery that one has learned substantially from our international colleagues.

Methods

All plastic surgical procedures performed by a single US plastic surgeon at an academic medical center with an active plastic surgery residency training program during the past 10 years were reviewed. More frequently performed procedures by the author were identified. In each identified procedure, critical references used by the author were examined to find out whether these references were from domestic or international sources.

Results

More frequently performed procedures by the author were (1) free anterolateral thigh perforator flap and free-style free flap, (2) deep inferior epigastric perforator flap breast reconstruction, (3) implant-based breast reconstruction, (4) oncoplastic breast reduction or mastopexy for breast reconstruction, (5) vertical scar breast reduction, and (6) fat grafting for correction of contour deformity after breast reconstruction. Much more innovative procedures that the author had learned after his residency were published primarily by our international colleagues.

Conclusions

The author has learned substantially from our international colleagues because many new procedures may be either first described by them or they have more extensive clinical experience. It is important to fully appreciate the significance of international scientific exchange in plastic surgery and its impact on a US plastic surgeon’s clinical practice.

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