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UT faculty improving surgical outcomes for children, cancer patients
Date:7/13/2011

n can predict what movies or products a person will like based on his or her shopping history and interests a doctor could recommend surgical procedures based on a patient's health history and desired physical appearance post-surgery.

While the surveys and research won't benefit women currently being treated for breast cancer, Fingeret said many of them want to participate because they know the "body image profiles" derived from their responses will help another patient down the road.

"We have extremely high participation rates [in the surveys.]" said Fingeret, an assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Science with joint appointments in the Departments of Plastic Surgery and Head and Neck Surgery at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. "When we tell people the goal of this research, they're very interested in helping others because they'll tell you it's probably the most difficult decision they've had to make."

The group is also leading a separate study on how cancer patients requiring facial reconstructive surgery adjust to body image issues and changes over time. In such instances, patients typically don't have a choice over the type of reconstructive procedures because the goal of surgery is to remove cancerous tumors while maintaining or restoring as much function as possible.

The research aims to develop a way for better defining cosmetic outcomes.

Creating the face of Central Texas children

In Adriana Da Silveira's day to day job, the need to better define cosmetic outcomes for patients is great.

Children born with facial deformities such as cleft palate or hemifacial microsomia a condition characterized by asymmetrical face and skull pass through her office at Dell Children's Medical Center, where she is chief of orthodontics at the Craniofacial& Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Center. Because the deformities of her patients have existed since birth, Da Silveira, Dr.
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Contact: Melissa Mixon
melissa.mixon@austin.utexas.edu
512-471-2129
University of Texas at Austin
Source:Eurekalert

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