Adequate resident training in aesthetic surgery has become increasingly important with rising demand. Chief resident aesthetic clinics allow hands on experience with an appropriate amount of autonomy. The purpose of this study was to compare resident cosmetic clinic outcomes to those reported in the literature. Furthermore, we sought to assess how effective these clinics can be in preparing residents in performing common aesthetic surgery procedures.
A retrospective chart review of 326 patients and 714 aesthetic procedures in our chief cosmetic clinic over a 13-year period was performed, and complication and revision rates were recorded. In addition, an electronic survey was sent to 26 prior chief residents regarding their experience and impressions of the chief resident aesthetic clinic.
A total of 713 procedures were performed on 326 patients. Patient ages ranged from 5 to 75 years old (mean, 40.8 years old) with a mean follow-up of 76.2 days. On average, there were 56 procedures performed per year. Of the 714 total procedures performed, there were 136 minor procedures and 578 major procedures. Of the 136 minor procedures, there were no complications and there was 1 revision of a cosmetic injection. Of the 578 major procedures, the overall complication rate was 6.1% and the revision rate was 12.8%. Complication and revision rates for each individual surgery were further analyzed and compared with the literature. The complication rates for these procedures fell within the reference ranges reported. In regards to the chief resident survey, there was a 77% response rate. All respondents reported that the chief resident clinic positively affected their residency education and future practice. Ninety percent of respondents felt “very comfortable” performing facelifts, body contouring, and aesthetic breast surgery. No respondents completed a subsequent cosmetic fellowship, and 60% stated that their positive experience in chief clinic contributed to their decision not to pursue a cosmetic fellowship.
Chief resident clinics can provide results with acceptable complication and revision rates that fall within the acceptable ranges in the literature. In addition, it provides a valuable experience that leaves residents with high comfort levels in performing key procedures in aesthetic surgery.