Author Archives: gliffen

Resolution of Thumb Pain following Adoption of Mathieu Needle Holder: An Ergonomic Analysis



As surveys reveal the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain among surgeons, it is important to have an appreciation and understanding of surgical ergonomics to protect against long-term injuries and mitigate the symptoms of existing conditions. Surgeons diagnosed with thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) joint osteoarthritis, a progressive and debilitating condition, can be especially vulnerable to the pain caused by the repetitive manual tasks of operating.


In this article, the authors describe a case of occupational thumb CMC arthritis in a right-hand dominant plastic surgeon and provide an ergonomic analysis of the different needle holders.


Following diagnosis, the simple switch from the traditional Hegar needle holder to the Mathieu needle driver with its palm grip and rotating ratchet lock mechanism stalled the progression of the disease, allowing the surgeon to continue operating pain free.


This is the first report of utilization of an alternative needle holder leading to the resolution of thumb pain. In sharing this case, the authors hope to bring awareness to the importance of hand ergonomics in the operating room and offer a practical tip to surgeons with CMC arthritis.

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Should We Stick With Surgical Glues? The Incidence of Dermatitis after 2-Octyl Cyanoacrylate Exposure in 102 Consecutive Breast Cases

Summary: Skin adhesives have become standard in wound closure as alternatives to traditional sutures or as sterile occlusive dressings after surgery of all types. The literature is replete with case reports of contact dermatitis following exposure to cyanoacrylate-based adhesives, such as 2-octyl cyanoacrylate. Nonetheless, it has been the impression of the senior author and others that the incidence of allergic and/or contact dermatitis is much higher than commonly considered. The authors prospectively studied 102 consecutive patients who underwent breast surgery performed by the senior author with 2-octyl cyanoacrylate placed over incisions as an occlusive dressing. Two patients with a known glue allergy did not receive cyanoacrylate at surgery but were scratch tested to confirm the diagnosis. All patients were followed postoperatively. Twelve patients went on to develop significant dermatitis postoperatively after glue placement. Cyanoacrylate was confirmed as the cause of all rashes by allergy scratch testing for a total incidence of 14 percent (14 patients). Given the popularity of cyanoacrylate products across emergency rooms, clinics, and operating rooms, awareness of the true incidence of these reactions may caution against their use in the future.

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Accurate Nipple Areolar Positioning in Nipple-sparing Mastectomy Reconstruction

SummaryNipple-sparing mastectomy continues to grow in popularity as oncologic indications for preserving the nipple areolar complex have become less stringent and more patients with genetic predispositions to breast cancer seek aesthetically superior prophylactic mastectomy reconstructions. Nonetheless, nipple malposition remains a common and disturbing complication. This article proposes several anatomic variations that predispose to nipple malposition and a strategy to avoid it through a reliable, easily reproducible method of preoperative marking and intraoperative stabilization.

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PRS Global Open Award

Dr. Blanchet serves on the editorial board of PRSGO and has recently won an award for the quality of her reviews for both PRS and PRSGO which are the official journals of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Check out her publications under “Publications “!

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2018 Global Peer Review Award Winner

Dr. Blanchet has been awarded a peer review award again in 2018 .

To date she has reviewed over 70 papers for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Online , the online version . These are the official plastic surgery journals of the American society of plastic surgeons, ASPS.

Burn in an Irradiated Prepectoral Breast Reconstruction: A Cautionary Tale

Summary: Burns to breast reconstructions, both autologous and implant-based, are well described in the plastic surgery literature. The mechanism has often been contact; however, burns secondary to sun exposure have also been reported. With the increasing number of prepectoral breast reconstructions, including irradiated prepectoral reconstructions, we would like to highlight the increased susceptibility of these reconstructions to thermal and ultraviolet injury. We present the case of a patient who underwent prepectoral implant-based breast reconstruction years after irradiation, who subsequently developed full-thickness injury to her mastectomy flap after minor sun exposure. After weeks of daily wound care and hyperbaric oxygen treatments, the patient eventually reepithelialized over her exposed acellular dermal matrix tissue layer, allowing for implant salvage. Postmastectomy flaps overlying implants in the prepectoral plane are delicate; major burns can develop from minor thermal injury, even months after surgery. Irradiated prepectoral reconstruction patients should be educated about the susceptibility of their breast flaps to even minor burn injury and should maintain vigilance beyond the immediate postoperative period. It remains to be seen whether prepectoral reconstruction in an irradiated breast can be a viable, long-term option.

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