In 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, some 11.36 million plastic surgery procedures were carried out around the world, along with another 13.6 million nonsurgical procedures.* We’ll look at several applications of Lean Six Sigma in plastic surgery and finish with a video on being a plastic surgeon whether cosmetic or reconstructive, the differences, and what it takes to be one.



Adapting Lean Six Sigma to  Improve Operative Efficiency for Plastic Surgery Procedures

In a paper titled “Streamlining and Consistency in Surgery: Lean Six Sigma to Improve Operating Room Efficiency,” authors Neil Tanna and others discuss the use of Lean Six Sigma to improve operating room efficiency for plastic surgery procedures.

The paper includes:

  • Lean Six Sigma Model Used In Plastic Surgery Procedures
  • Patient Demographics and Operative Time Outcomes Before and after Lean Six Sigma (LSS)
  • Total Mean Operative Times Before and After LSS Intervention
  • Mean Cut-to-Close Operative Times Before and After LSS Intervention
  • Spatial Process Map Used to Represent Physical Positioning of Each Surgeon Given the Step of the Procedure Being Completed
  • LSS Temporal Process Map (for Bilateral Mastectomy and DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction)
  • Optimal Spatial Positioning of the Various Surgical Teams

You can read the paper here.


Lean Six Sigma Applied in Plastic Surgery to Improve Operative Workflow

In a paper titled “Lean and Six Sigma Methodology Can Improve Efficiency in Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction,” authors Michael J. Stein, Wojciech Dec, and Oren Z. Lerman discuss the application of Lean Six Sigma to plastic surgery, specifically to operative workflow in microsurgical breast reconstruction.

The paper includes:

  • Value Stream Mapping for Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap Breast Reconstruction
  • Conclusions Based on Seven Key Lean Principles

You can read the paper here.


Applying Lean Six Sigma to Plastic Surgery Telehealth Visits

A short article titled “Telemedicine programs provide effective alternative to clinic visits for plastic surgery follow-up” discusses the use of Lean Six Sigma to improve plastic surgery telemedicine follow-ups.


“Borrowing a quality improvement and defect reduction process that has proven effective in the business and manufacturing sectors

(the Lean Six Sigma framework), the researchers developed a "testable workflow" for telehealth visits.”


You can access the article here.


Learn What Constitutes Being A Plastic Surgeon

See the differences between cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery and other details in this video titled “So You Want to Be a Plastic Surgeon.”

You can watch the video from Med School Insiders here.




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