Publications by authors named "O Ochoa"

57 Publications

Enhanced Recovery Pathway Reduces Hospital Stay and Opioid Use in Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction: A Single-Center, Private Practice Experience.

Plast Reconstr Surg 2022 07 2;150(1):13e-21e. Epub 2022 May 2.

From Plastic Reconstructive & Microsurgical Associates and Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Background: This study aimed to determine benefits of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) pathway implementation in free flap breast reconstruction related to postoperative narcotic use and health care resource utilization.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of consecutive patients undergoing deep inferior epigastric perforator flap breast reconstruction from November of 2015 to April of 2018 was performed before and after implementation of the ERAS protocol.

Results: Four hundred nine patients met inclusion criteria. The pre-ERAS group comprised 205 patients, and 204 patients were managed through the ERAS pathway. Mean age, laterality, timing of reconstruction, and number of previous abdominal surgical procedures were similar ( p > 0.05) between groups. Mean operative time between both groups (450.1 ± 92.7 minutes versus 440.7 ± 93.5 minutes) and complications were similar ( p > 0.05). Mean intraoperative (58.9 ± 32.5 versus 31.7 ± 23.4) and postoperative (129.5 ± 80.1 versus 90 ± 93.9) morphine milligram equivalents used were significantly ( p < 0.001) higher in the pre-ERAS group. Mean length of stay was significantly ( p < 0.001) longer in the pre-ERAS group (4.5 ± 0.8 days versus 3.2 ± 0.6 days). Bivariate linear regression analysis demonstrated that operative time was positively associated with total narcotic requirements ( p < 0.001) and length of stay ( p < 0.001).

Conclusions: ERAS pathways in microsurgical breast reconstruction promote reduction in intraoperative and postoperative narcotic utilization with concomitant decrease in hospital length of stay. In this study, patients managed through ERAS pathways required 46 percent less intraoperative and 31 percent less postoperative narcotics and had a 29 percent reduction in hospital length of stay.

Clinical Question/level Of Evidence: Therapeutic, III.
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July 2022

Prospective Longitudinal Patient-Reported Satisfaction and Health-Related Quality of Life following DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction: Effects of Reconstruction Timing.

Plast Reconstr Surg 2022 05 2;149(5):848e-857e. Epub 2022 Mar 2.

From Plastic Reconstructive and Microsurgical Associates; and University of Texas Health.

Background: Without reconstruction, mastectomy alone can produce significant detrimental effects on health-related quality of life. The magnitude of quality-of-life benefits following breast reconstruction may be unique based on timing of reconstruction. Facilitated by the BREAST-Q questionnaire, characterization of how reconstruction timing differentially affects patient-reported quality of life is essential for improved evidence-based clinical practice.

Methods: Consecutive DIEP flap breast reconstruction patients prospectively completed BREAST-Q questionnaires preoperatively and at two different time intervals postoperatively. The first (postoperative time point A) and second (postoperative time point B) postoperative questionnaires were completed 1 month postoperatively and following breast revision/symmetry procedures, respectively. Postoperative flap and donor-site complications were recorded prospectively. Stratified by timing (immediate versus delayed) of reconstruction, preoperative clinical data, operative morbidity, and BREAST-Q scores were compared at all time points.

Results: Between July of 2012 and August of 2016, 73 patients underwent 130 DIEP flap breast reconstructions. Collectively, breast satisfaction, psychosocial well-being, and sexual well-being scores significantly (p < 0.001) increased postoperatively versus baseline. Chest and abdominal physical well-being scores returned to baseline levels by postoperative time point B. Preoperatively, patients undergoing delayed breast reconstruction reported significantly (p < 0.05) lower breast satisfaction, psychosocial well-being, and sexual well-being scores compared to immediate reconstruction patients. Postoperatively, delayed and immediate reconstruction patients reported similar quality-of-life scores. Outcome satisfaction and flap and donor-site morbidity were similar between groups irrespective of timing of reconstruction.

Conclusions: In this prospective study, patient-reported outcomes demonstrate significant improvements in breast satisfaction, psychosocial well-being, and sexual well-being among patients following DIEP flap reconstruction. Moreover, preoperative differences in quality-of-life scores among delayed/immediate reconstruction patients were eliminated postoperatively.

Clinical Question/level Of Evidence: Therapeutic, II.
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May 2022

Case Volume-Dependent Changes in Operative Morbidity following Free Flap Breast Reconstruction: A 15-Year Single-Center Analysis.

Plast Reconstr Surg 2021 Sep;148(3):365e-374e

From Plastic Reconstructive and Microsurgical Associates and University of Texas Health.

Background: Operative morbidity is a common yet modifiable feature of complex surgical procedures. With increasing case volume, improvement in morbidity has been reported through designated procedural processes and greater repetition. Defined as a volume-outcome association, improvement in breast reconstruction morbidity with increasing free flap volume requires further characterization.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted among consecutive free flap patients using a two-microsurgeon model between January of 2002 and December of 2017. Patient demographics and operative characteristics were obtained from medical records. Complications including unplanned surgical intervention (take-back) and flap loss were obtained from prospectively kept databases. Individual surgeon operative volume was estimated by considering overall practice volume and correcting for the number of surgeons at any given time.

Results: During the study period, 3949 patients met inclusion criteria. A total of 6607 breasts underwent reconstruction with 6675 free flaps. Mean patient age was 50 ± 9.4 years and mean body mass index was 28.8 ± 5.0 kg/m2. Bilateral reconstruction was performed on 2633 patients (66.5 percent), with 4626 breasts (70.5 percent) reconstructed in the immediate setting. Overall, breast and donor-site complications were reported in 507 breasts (7.7 percent) and 607 cases (15.4 percent), respectively. Take-back was required in 375 cases (9.5 percent), with complete flap loss occurring in 57 cases (0.9 percent). Based on annual flaps per surgeon, the incidence of complications decreased with increasing volume (slope = -0.12; p = 0.056).

Conclusion: Through procedural efficiency and execution of defined clinical processes using a two-microsurgeon model, increases in microsurgical breast reconstruction case volume result in decreased morbidity.

Clinical Question/level Of Evidence: Therapeutic, IV.
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September 2021

Carving Out Financial Success: The Power of Insurance Carve-Outs in a Private Plastic Surgery Practice.

Plast Reconstr Surg 2021 Jul;148(1):239-246

From Kind Chang Plastic Surgery; the Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of California-San Francisco; the Division of Plastic Surgery, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine; the Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Texas Children's Hospital; PRMA Plastic Surgery; and the Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Background: Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law, there has been a push away from fee-for-service payment models. The rise of bundled payments has drastically impacted plastic surgeons' incomes, especially nonsalaried surgeons in private practice. As a result, physicians must now attempt to optimize contractual reimbursement agreements (carve-outs) with insurance providers. The aim of this article is to explain the economics behind negotiating carve-outs and to offer a how-to guide for plastic surgeons to use in such negotiations.

Methods: Based on work relative value units, Medicare reimbursement, overhead expenses, physician workload, and desired income, the authors present an approach that allows surgeons to evaluate the reimbursement they receive for various procedures. The authors then review factors that influence whether a carve-out can be pursued. Finally, the authors consider relevant nuances of negotiating with insurance companies.

Results: Using tissue expander insertion (CPT 19357) as an example, the authors review the mathematics, thought process required, and necessary steps in determining whether a carve-out should be pursued. Strategies for negotiation with insurance companies were identified. The presented approach can be used to potentially negotiate a carve-out for any reconstructive procedure that meets appropriate financial criteria.

Conclusions: Understanding practice costs will allow plastic surgeons to evaluate the true value of insurance reimbursements and determine whether a carve-out is worth pursuing. Plastic surgeons must be prepared to negotiate adequate reimbursement carve-outs whenever possible. Ultimately, by aligning the best quality patient care with insurance companies' financial motivations, plastic surgeons have the opportunity to improve reimbursement for some reconstructive procedures.
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July 2021

Post-mastectomy Breast Reconstruction with Autologous Tissue: Current Methods and Techniques.

Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 2021 Feb 18;9(2):e3433. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Plastic Reconstructive & Microsurgical Associates, San Antonio, Tex.

Breast reconstruction is an option that should be considered for any patient facing a mastectomy. Autologous breast reconstruction provides the benefits of excellent longterm results, natural appearance, natural feel, and the best opportunity for sensory restoration. These factors lead many patients to choose autologous tissue over implant-based reconstruction. With improved anatomic and technical knowledge, the donor site morbidity previously associated with abdominally based autologous reconstruction has been significantly reduced. Today, the DIEP flap is the preferred autologous method allowing restoration of a "natural," aesthetic breast with potential for sensation while simultaneously minimizing abdominal donor site morbidity. Alternative flaps and adjunctive procedures provide options when dealing with patients who present with challenging clinical scenarios because of an inadequate abdominal donor site. This paper reviews current methods employed by a high volume breast reconstruction practice to achieve these goals.
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February 2021