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Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma: Emerging Consent and Management Patterns among American and International Board Certified Plastic Surgeons

Pittman, Troy A. M.D.; Fan, Kenneth L. M.D.; Rudolph, Megan A. B.A.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: November 2016 - Volume 138 - Issue 5 - p 811e-818e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000002622
Breast: Special Topic

Background: Although literature and case reports regarding anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) continue to increase, changes in plastic surgery practice patterns have not been assessed.

Methods: A 19-question survey was sent electronically to U.S. and international board-certified plastic surgeons. Data were analyzed using chi-square test and logistic regression analysis.

Results: A total of 1383 surgeons (U.S., 715; international, 668) responded, at a rate of 13.5 percent, and 36.2 percent of U.S. physicians aspirate late seromas and send for cytologic analysis and 9.5 percent had personal experience with ALCL, equating to at least 193 self-reported cases. Overall, 26.9 percent discuss ALCL risk at the initial consultation every time, and 36.4 percent include ALCL in the informed consent. Compared to U.S. counterparts, Australian, French, and German physicians were five times as likely to include ALCL in consent. Physicians in an academic practice and those frequently (>40 percent) using textured implants were more likely to discuss ALCL in the preoperative consultation. Physicians with personal or colleague experience with ALCL were twice as likely to include ALCL in the consent process.

Conclusions: Only one-third of surgeons are managing late seroma according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines. ALCL cases are likely being underreported. Collectively, plastic surgeons remain hesitant to change consent pattern. However, specific countries have adapted their consenting processes. Working in academia and frequent textured implant use makes one more likely to discuss ALCL in consultation. Personal or colleague experience makes one twice as likely to include ALCL in the consent.

Washington, D.C.

From the Department of Plastic Surgery, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital; and George Washington School of Medicine.

Received for publication November 30, 2015; accepted June 6, 2016.

Disclosure:Dr. Pittman is a consultant for Novadaq, Sientra, and Medtronic. The other authors have no financial interest to declare.

Troy A. Pittman, M.D., Department of Plastic Surgery, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C. 20007,

Copyright © 2016 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons