The Plastic Surgery Foundation
Log In Donate Now

Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2023 cycle requested a total of nearly $4 million dollars. The PSF Study Section Subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated nearly 140 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling over $1 million dollars to support nearly 30 plastic surgery research proposals.

ASPS/PSF leadership is committed to continuing to provide high levels of investigator-initiated research support to ensure that plastic surgeons have the needed research resources to be pioneers and innovators in advancing the practice of medicine.

Research Abstracts

Search The PSF database to have easy access to full-text grant abstracts from past PSF-funded research projects 2003 to present. All abstracts are the work of the Principal Investigators and were retrieved from their PSF grant applications. Several different filters may be applied to locate abstracts specific to a particular focus area or PSF funding mechanism.

Acellular Dermal Matrix in One-Stage Breast Reconstruction:A RCT

Principal Investigator
Toni Zhong MD


University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment for Plastic Surgery Grant

Focus Area
Breast (Cosmetic / Reconstructive)

While two-stage tissue expander/implant (TE/I) technique is an excellent reconstructive option in well-selected mastectomy patients, the primary drawback, however, is that it requires two separate procedures under general anesthesia and multiple office visits for expander inflation to create the breast mound. While the effect of acellular dermis on various clinical outcomes in the setting of two-stage TE/I reconstruction is currently investigated by a multi-center randomized controlled trial led by McCarthy, the use of acellular dermal matrix in one-stage prosthetic breast reconstruction has been reported only by a few small case series. Thus, in order to rigorously evaluate the use of acellular dermal matrix in single-stage reconstructions, we propose a multi-center, randomized controlled trial designed to study patient satisfaction and quality of life (QOL) associated with the use of acellular dermis in one-stage, implant reconstruction compared to the traditional, two-stage, TE/I reconstruction. By eliminating the intermediate process of tissue expansion and converting the conventional two-stage procedure to one-stage with the use of human acellular dermis, we hypothesize thatpatient satisfaction and quality of life will be significantly improved following skin-sparing mastectomy. In addition, other important implications for successful single-stage immediate breast reconstruction include: 1. Decreasing the surgical wait-list for primary cancer cases; 2. Increasing the efficiency within the clinic; 3. Expediting the patient's return to productivity; 4. Easing the overburdened hospital OR usage; and 5. Potentially offloading the financially strained healthcare system by eliminating the cost of tissue expanders, serial expansion with clinic visits, and a second OR under general anesthesia.

To facilitate valid post-hoc comparisons between our outcome measures and those used by McCarthy et al, we have intentionally set up our research design (participant eligibility, treatment plan, surgical technique using the acellular dermis, timing of postoperative evaluations) to mirror their protocol. This will allows us to directly compare the intervention effect on QOL and patient satisfaction scores between the two studies. The conclusion generated by comparing the confidence interval of effect size, therefore, would help answer the question of whether patient-satisfaction is improved by the use of acellular dermal matrix alone or its ability to convert a two-stage reconstruction to one-stage. Therefore, our proposed study follows the natural progression of scientific research with a multi-center RCT on the safety and patient-perceived benefits derived from the use of acellular dermis in the novel setting of one-stage implant reconstruction.

Dr. Toni Zhong is a graduate of the Plastic Surgery Residency Training Program at the University of Western Ontario and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2007. Dr. Zhong has won numerous national and international research and young investigator awards and is the recipient of numerous peer-reviewed research grants. Following the completion of her residency, Dr. Zhong was awarded the prestigious Zeiss Canada Microsurgery Scholarship to pursue a year-long Microvascular and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Dr. Toni Zhong B.Sc. M.D. FRCS(C) is a member in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University Health Network. In addition to her clinical interest in all forms of complex reconstruction post-oncologic ablation and treatment of difficult cutaneous malignancies, she is taking a leadership role in building the Breast Restoration Program at UHN as a center of excellence for breast reconstruction in North America. To complement her clinical practice in the field of reconstructive surgery, Dr. Zhong is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her research areas of interest include the evaluation of innovative breast reconstruction surgical techniques, including the use of Alloderm in a multi-site randomized trial and development of validated patient-reported outcome instruments designed to evaluate health-related quality of life following specific breast surgical procedures.