A call to bridge the divide in breast reconstruction research: A systematic review

Po Hsiang (Shawn) Yuan, Rebecca Xu, Luke Maclean, Nawaf Al Muqaimi, Maryam Elmi, Kathryn V. Isaac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Breast reconstruction is an important component of comprehensive breast cancer care. Although reconstructive plans require multidisciplinary clinical-decision making, research in cross-discipline collaborations is often limited. This study aims to evaluate multidisciplinary involvement in breast reconstruction outcomes research. Methods: A systematic review of breast reconstruction literature published from 2000 to 2019 using Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, and PubMed databases was conducted. English language articles published in North America or Europe with n ≥ 12 nonpediatric patients were included. Articles concerning procedures not performed in the context of breast cancer care or articles that did not evaluate at least one outcome, diagnostic test, or risk factor were excluded. Authors’ affiliations were used to define multidisciplinary involvement. Quality of research was evaluated using the level of evidence, journal impact factor (IF), and altmetrics. Results: Of the 1679 articles screened, 784 met the stated eligibility criteria. Only half (50.6%) of these articles involved an author outside the discipline of plastic surgery. Compared to nonmultidisciplinary studies, multidisciplinary studies were more likely to be designated with a higher level of evidence (I or II) (p<0.001), published in journals with higher IF (p<0.05), have higher usage (p = 0.03), and mentions (p = 0.02). There was no difference in citations, captures, and social media posts (p>0.05). Conclusion: Breast reconstruction outcomes research often fails to offer author collaborations from nonplastic surgery disciplines. Multidisciplinary involvement in breast cancer care research is strongly recommended to improve the quality and impact of clinical studies in breast reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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