The Plastic Surgery Foundation
Log In Donate Now

Grants We Funded

Grant Applicants for 2020 requested more than $4.1 million. The PSF Study Section Subcommittees of Basic and Translational Research and Clinical Research Evaluated 111 applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded Research Grants totaling more than $860,000 to support 24 plastic surgery research proposals.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons/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.

Breast Reconstruction and Augmentation Quality of Life

Principal Investigator
Joseph Serletti MD


University of Pennsylvania

Funding Mechanism
Directed Research Grant

Focus Area
Breast (Cosmetic/Reconstructive)

Breast cancer affects one out of every eight American women in their lifetime. The primary goal of breast reconstruction after mastectomy is to re-establish a sense of physical normalcy in the breast cancer survivor. The autogenous transverse rectus abdominus musculocutaneous (TRAM) flap represents the gold standard in post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. Several studies, however, have shown high rates of abdominal wall morbidity including decreased strength, abdominal laxity, abnormal contour, and frank bulge or hernia formation. In recent years, development of new microsurgical techniques has introduced the deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap and the superficial inferior epigastric artery (SIEA) flap. These operations spare the abdominal wall to varying degrees, and represent more technically demanding alternatives to the traditional TRAM. Our research group is involved in determining the functional significance of donor site morbidity related to these three methods of autogenous breast reconstruction. Although previous studies have revealed differences in the function of the rectus abdominus muscle following the free TRAM, DIEP and SIEA using EMG, MRI, ultrasound and dynamometer testing, none of these studies include information on the functional significance of these tests and their relation to patient reported outcomes. We believe that applying functional muscle testing and patient quality of life surveys in a prospective study of surgical modalities will allow us to distinguish the impact of these three operations on abdominal wall function. Preoperative assessment of abdominal wall integrity will be performed utilizing the "Manual Muscle Function Test" for trunk flexion and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) for getting up out of bed. Patients will also complete a SF 36 quality of life survey, as well as a survey designed specifically for abdominal wall function in everyday life. At the 3, 6, and 12 month post-operative visits, a physical therapist will evaluate the patients' abdominal strength, function and range of motion using tests described above, and quality of life surveys will be repeated. ANOVA will be used to compare differences across subgroups and logistic regression analysis performed to determine which risk factors predict post-reconstruction complications.