Are "Free Flaps" "Free" Flaps?
BACKGROUND: Even standard microvascular tissue transfers are time consuming, require great skill and intensity, and can be stressful. Not surprisingly, work-related relative value units are considered by many microsurgeons to be suboptimal. Some might even say that "free flaps" indeed really are "free" flaps.
METHODS: A retrospective review of related finances was undertaken for all free flaps performed in a single surgeon private practice during the latest possible year (2014) that included a complete 5-year follow-up to insure receipt of all expected reimbursements from accounts receivable. There were 61 free flaps available; but arbitrarily 12 free flaps were excluded since postmastectomy breast reconstruction always received mandatory insurance payment, as were additional two cases done pro bono as part of an international educational service. This left 47 free flaps to permit determination of gross payments, if any.
RESULTS: Compensation summated for three distinct time intervals for all free flaps was
CONCLUSION: A true benefit cost-analysis even if microsurgery specific expenses could be estimated would be inaccurate, so that mean net income for each free flap could not be determined. Albeit a minimal gross payment was obtained for some free flap procedures, in no instance was there
Published In/Presented At
Hallock G. G. (2022). Are "Free Flaps" "Free" Flaps?. Journal of reconstructive microsurgery, 38(4), 292–295. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0041-1732429
Diagnosis | Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Radiology
Department of Surgery