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Invited Commentary
May/Jun 2016

Patient Databases and Clinical Registries in Facial Plastic Surgery Research—Looking at Outcomes Data on a Broader Scale

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, State University of New York Downstate, Brooklyn

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2016;18(3):220-221. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2016.0015

In this issue of JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, Spataro et al1 discuss several limitations of the current literature on revision septal and rhinoplasty surgery. Although these studies have been informative in many ways, the body of research is, for the most part, retrospective in nature, representing the experience of a single surgeon or institution, with small cohorts and many types of techniques.1 Therefore, the ability to compare them is limited, and the generalizability of these types of studies to another surgeon’s practice is limited also. The study objective by Spataro et al1 was to report surgical revision rates for a large cohort of patients from several regions of the country over an adequate time frame to address these concerns. Armed with this type of data, facial plastic surgeons would be better equipped to counsel patients about the variables associated with higher revision rates. Surgeons would also have better benchmarks to assess their own performance. The evaluation of surgeon performance is being formalized to a greater degree with the implementation of quality measures by government agencies. The current “value-based” environment is structured to promote quality of patient outcomes and link them to reimbursement strategies. Therefore, surgeons have a vested interest in understanding the surgical outcomes of large groups of patients.1