The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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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 Implant Illness after Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction

Principal Investigator
Katherine Santosa MD

Year
2020

Institution
Regent of the University of Michigan

Funding Mechanism


Focus Area
Breast (Cosmetic / Reconstructive)

Abstract
Project Summary: In response to concerns about possible links between silicone breast implants and autoimmune disease in the 1990s, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called for a voluntary moratorium on silicone breast implants. Restrictions on the use of silicone breast implants were only lifted in 2006 after large population studies demonstrated no effects of silicone on the prevalence of known diseases or somatic complaints. Several decades later, similar questions have resurfaced regarding breast implant safety and the potential associations between breast implants and systemic diseases. “Breast implant illness (BII)” is a term used to describe a wide array of chronic systemic symptoms, including (but not limited to) fatigue, insomnia, joint pain, depression, hair loss, and “brain fog” as reported by some women after the placement of saline or silicone gel-filled breast implants. Due to growing public concerns about the possibility of BII, the FDA has called for longer-term studies to evaluate potential associations between breast implants and systemic illnesses. Moreover, the FDA has recommended that women considering implant-based surgeries be informed about the possibility of BII. This issue has become particularly relevant for patients undergoing breast reconstruction with implant-based techniques, which constitute most post-mastectomy reconstructions in the U.S. each year. The overall goal of the proposed research is to compare the long-term prevalence of somatic complaints linked to BII between women with previous implant-based versus autologous breast reconstructions. Using existing pre-preoperative survey data collected from 2012 to 2015 from the multicenter Mastectomy Reconstruction Outcomes Consortium (MROC) study as a baseline, we will conduct a new cross-sectional survey of the MROC population to compare the prevalence of possible BII-related complaints between implant and autologous reconstruction patients at five to eight years postoperatively. Given growing concerns among patient advocacy groups and regulatory agencies over breast implant safety and BII, evaluating possible BII-related complaints after post-mastectomy breast reconstruction has become a research priority. Findings from the proposed study have significant potential to guide our understanding of BII and ensure that we continue to provide safe surgical care to our patients. Impact Statement: There are growing concerns over breast implant safety and possible associations between breast implants and systemic diseases. “Breast implant illness (BII)” is a term used to describe chronic systemic symptoms as reported by women after placement of breast implants. This issue is important for patients undergoing implant-based breast reconstruction, which constitutes most of the reconstructions performed in the US each year. The overall goal is to compare long-term prevalence of somatic complaints linked to BII between women with implant-based versus autologous breast reconstruction. Given concerns among patient advocacy groups and regulatory agencies over BII, evaluating possible BII-related complaints after post-mastectomy breast reconstruction has become a research priority.

Biography
Dr. Katherine B. Santosa is a plastic surgery resident in her fifth year of clinical training at the University of Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in 2007. She then graduated from Washington University School of Medicine with honors in 2012. Following this, she began her post-graduate plastic surgery training at the University of Michigan. After her third year of residency, she felt compelled to pause her clinical training and electively pursued a three-year postdoctoral research fellowship at Washington University. During her research fellowship, she was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA F32) by the NIH to fund her research training, and successfully obtained a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation. Upon completion of her residency training and fellowship in aesthetic plastic surgery, Dr. Santosa plans to pursue a career in academic plastic surgery with a research focus on patient-reported outcomes after plastic surgery procedures. Additionally, she plans to have a clinical practice caring for patients undergoing breast reconstruction and those seeking aesthetic breast and facial rejuvenation procedures. She hopes to leverage the skills she has developed during her research training to innovating techniques that will ultimately improve the care of plastic surgery patients.