Dr. Kim and his team of Northwestern University medical students recently finished development of an Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) Risk Calculator, which can be found at abdominoplastyrisk.org. Similar to the breast reduction risk calculator, this tool allows men and women (as well as their surgeons) to input their demographic factors and receive their individualized expected risk of post-operative complications. For instance, a male who is 5’9”, weighs 185 lbs., and is 40 years old who does not have diabetes but is a former smoker has a 13.08% chance of developing any surgical complication, according to this particular calculator.
Dr. Kim and his team are pioneers in the surgical risk calculator space, and their first venture into this type of data analysis pertained to post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. With this surgery, women have several options of which type of surgery they can undergo (ie: using their own tissue or using an implant to reconstruct their breast). Therefore, it is helpful for women to know their risk of complications for the different types of surgery. For instance, a woman has a different risk of re-operation with implant reconstruction vs. latissimus reconstruction, which utilizes tissue from her back. The ability to make such a comparison and subsequently make an informed decision empowers women who are battling breast cancer. Since the development of the breast reconstruction risk calculator (found at Brascore.org) Dr. Kim and his team have continued to develop calculators for other plastic surgery procedures, including breast reduction and abdominoplasty, and the Northwestern Plastic Surgery group will likely continue along these same lines with an aesthetic surgery risk calculator and perhaps more.