For women who are considering having breast reduction surgery the shared medical appointment (SMA)approach is favored. This is an approach that includes the medical doctor treating the patient for the medical issues caused by heavy breast and the plastic surgeon who will perform the procedure working together from the beginning. The ASPS states that SMA’s have multiple benefits including but not limited to
“peer support” and a more efficient process.
Shared Medical Appointment for Breast Reduction
The researchers made shared medical appointment available to women beginning with their initial consultation for breast that were excessively heavy and were causing pain and other problems. Patients were given the option of either an SMA or the usual, one-on-one consultation with the plastic surgeon.
As an added option to a one on one, private consultation and discussion of surgical recommendations the SMA approach included a group information meeting and question and answer session with the surgeon. On average, eight patients (each accompanied by one female companion ) joined in the group session.
Patient satisfaction rates were compared for 26 women who decided to have an SMA against 26 who opted for the usual consultations. Results showed impressive patient satisfaction rates–89 percent in total and 92 percent when considering to the complete quality of care, in both the shared and individual consultation groups. More than 75 percent of patients who took part in in the shared appointments said they would be likely to choose the same option in the future.
At the same time, the SMA approach “more than doubled provider efficiency and clinic workflow,” according to Dr. Giladi and colleagues. By combining some of the common informational aspects of the usual individual visit in the group portion of the visit, “The number of patients seen per hour substantially increased with the SMA model, as did each patient’s total interaction with the surgeon.” Including the educational session, SMA patients enjoyed four times longer total contact time with the surgeon.
The SMA approach–combining traditional patient evaluation with a “community learning environment”– also has benefits for women being evaluated for breast reduction surgery, the new study suggests. Dr Giladi and coauthors conclude, “We are able to provide this enhanced patient experience, built on camaraderie, peer support, and group education, while improving provider and clinic efficiency.”
Dr Angelchik in private practice does not work directly with the treating medical doctor for breast reduction surgery in most cases. He encourages patients to see the medical doctor prior to the plastic surgery consultation and bring the diagnosis supporting the pain being caused by the heavy breast. Then he is able to provide a better more complete surgical recommendation.