The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2022 cycle requested a total of over $2.9 million dollars. The PSF Study Section subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated 115 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling almost $550,000 to support 19 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.

Electromagnetic Fields and Pectoral Block for Breast Reconstruction Pain Control

Principal Investigator
Christine Rohde MD


Columbia University Medical Center

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment for Plastic Surgery Grant

Focus Area
Breast (Cosmetic / Reconstructive)

Improved early detection for breast cancer has led to a rise in the incidence of breast cancer, and with it a concomitant rise in the number of mastectomies and breast reconstructions performed each year. Optimization of acute postoperative pain is not only desirable for patient comfort but also improves patient healing. Severe acute postoperative pain has also been shown to be a risk factor in the development of persistent and chronic pain in the long-term. Both the Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) device and the pectoral interfascial block (PIB) have been shown to be an effective analgesic modality for breast surgery. Both are sporadically in use at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), but currently, there is no literature on the efficacy of PEMF or PIB use in mastectomy and tissue expander patients. We propose a prospective, randomized, double blind trial to evaluate the efficacy of PEMF and pectoral block in comparison to placebo in these patients. All patients undergoing mastectomy with tissue expander placement who are >18years of age and have capacity to make their own medical decisions will be offered enrollment. Patients will be randomized to placebo, PEMF, PIB, or PEMF/PIB. All patients will wear PEMF devices whereas, in the inactive groups, these will be sham devices. All patients will receive a preoperative pectoral injection, whereas in the inactive groups, these will be saline injections. The randomization, and the handling of the devices and medications will be done by a dedicated research coordinator to ensure complete blinding of all healthcare providers. In the active cohort, PEMF will be automatically delivered every four hours for twenty minutes for seven days. The primary outcome to be compared is postoperative pain, as quantified by a standardized visual analog scale (VAS). Secondary outcome measures will include intraoperative analgesic consumption, amount of pain and anti-emetic medication used during the hospital stay, and the post-operative narcotic use by the one week follow-up. Based on a previous PEMF project, our power analysis reveals we need at 12 patients per cohort to see a clinically Imeaningful difference in pain control. We plan on enrolling 15 patients per cohort (60 total) to account for dropouts. This project seeks to improve post surgical pain and evaluate efficacy of newer analgesic options in patients who receive device-based breast reconstruction.

Christine Rohde, M.D., M.P.H., graduated from Harvard Medical School in 2000. Following her medical school education, she began her general surgery training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. After three years of general surgery training, Dr. Rohde accepted a plastic and reconstructive surgery residency position at Montefiore Medical Center. Interested in microsurgery, Dr. Rohde then completed a microsurgical fellowship at New York University Medical School’s Institute of Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery in 2006. Her research focuses primarily on outcomes of plastic surgical interventions, particularly as they relate to cancer reconstruction and post-surgical care. In 2013, Dr. Rohde graduated from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health with a Masters in Public Health, focusing on comparative effectiveness research.