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Plastic and reconstructive surgery -- in brief

Can The US Really Cut Health Care Spending?

A new study suggests that while health care is one of the strongest sectors of the ailing US economy, achieving a substantial, sustainable reduction is US health care spending is not probable. The author, who completed health care policy literature and position article reviews, reveals that despite far greater expenditures, US hospitalization rates, lengths-of-stay, and inpatient hospital beds are all lower than they are in other first-world nations. Furthermore, Americans pay higher prices for the same health services than citizens in other countriesincluding Canada. The study outlines steps that could be taken by the US to reduce spending, but contends that unless Americans are willing to discuss and accept restrictions and/or limitations on health care, spending growth is unlikely to decrease. This study appears in the January 2009 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

By The Numbers:

  • According to ASPS statistics, $12.4 billion was spent on elective cosmetic procedures in 2007.
  • In 2007, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that health care spending in the US reached $2.2 trillionand is projected to exceed $4 trillion by 2017.

Medicine Cabinet Mainstays Pose Risks to Cosmetic Surgery Patients

Common antidepressants and herbal medications may have potentially harmful intraoperative effects on patients undergoing cosmetic surgical procedures, according to a new study. Researchers from New York conducted and reviewed case studies regarding the effects of the 29 most commonly used herbs and antidepressants, on anesthesia and surgery. After identifying a number of harmful, intraoperative risks, ranging from increased bleeding to fatal interactions, the authors established recommendations for the management of these medications before elective surgery. The authors suggest that patients using those antidepressants and herbs noted in the study consult with the prescribing physician about discontinuing use for up to two weeks prior to surgery. This study appears in the January 2009 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery , the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

By The Numbers:

  • According to ASPS statistics, 11.8 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the US in 2007.
  • In 2005, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) estimated that $118 million of the $2.4 billion spent of prescription medications was on antidepressants.
  • In 2000, it was identified that 32% of the ambulatory surgery population used herbal medications, according to the NCHS.

Preventing and Managing 'Dry Eye'

New research evaluates the development of dry eye syndrome and outlines the proper steps for the detection, prevention and management of the affliction. During the study, researchers from Texas and Florida conducted a chart review of 202 patients who underwent upper and lower eyelid surgery, and collected data that identified the risk factors associated with dry eye symptoms. While such symptoms are temporarily common in most eyelid surgery patients, they are expected to last for only a few days. However, 10% of patients in the study group experienced dry eyes for 2 weeks or longer. Researchers identified the use of contact lenses, premenopausal state, and history of laser-assisted vision correction among the risk factors for persistent dry eye symptoms. They suggest that proper understanding of anatomy, preoperative recognition of risk factors, intraoperative maneuvers, and immediate and aggressive postoperative management are key to minimizing the occurrence of chronic dry eye in these patients. This study appears in the January 2009 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

By The Numbers:

  • In 2007, 241,000 eyelid surgeries were performed in the US, according to ASPS statistics.


Contact: ASPS Public Relations
American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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