Free CME Course on ALCL now available on PSEN

PSEN ALCL CourseThis month, PSEN published a new free CME course by Mark Clemens, MD, covering The Essentials of Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a distinct clinical entity that can present in patients receiving either reconstructive or cosmetic breast implants. This is a CME course meant to provide an overview of recent peer-reviewed manuscripts and the essential principles of the disease while trying not to provide a single practitioner viewpoint. The three-part lecture includes government authority guidelines, a review of diagnosis and etiology theories, and treatment outcomes. Pathological diagnosis, staging, and surgical treatment is detailed. Pertinent aspects of informed consent and society recommendations for reporting of confirmed cases are included.

Dr. Clemens is on the Plastic Surgery faculty of MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas in Houston and has lectured internationally and written more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and 30 book chapters.  He leads a multidisciplinary research team and tissue repository focused on the study of breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BI-ALCL).  Dr. Clemens serves as an American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) society liaison to the US Food and Drug Administration, and chairs a subcommittee for ASPS overseeing national research and education efforts for BI-ALCL.

PSEN Co-Editor Raman Mahabir, MD, notes “This is such an important issue for all plastic surgeons.  There is new information all the time and Mark has really put it all together in one cohesive, comprehensive package.”

The Learning Objectives for the course state that upon completion, surgeons should be able to:

  1. Identify diagnostic tools for the identification of suspected breast implant-associated ALCL.
  2. Explain disease course and oncologic progression of breast implant ALCL.
  3. Describe current first line and second line treatment modalities and reported outcomes.
  4. Describe current FDA recommendations regarding breast-implant associated ALCL.

Patricia McGuire, MD, an ASPS member practicing in St. Louis, took the course upon release and noted, “I just took the PSEN ALCL course that you did. It was fantastic. Very clearly presented and extremely informative. All plastic surgeons should be required to take it.”

To review the ALCL course, visit the Online Courses area of PSEN.

The United States is Facing an Opioid Epidemic

A Message From…
Raman Mahabir, MDRMahabir
PSEN Co-Editor

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that the drug overdose death rate from opioids increased by 200% between the years 2000 and 2014.

I started medical school in 2000, just as pain was becoming the fifth vital sign and pain management became a focus of care.  Sixteen years later, reimbursement is now directly tied to pain management through HCAHPS questions and CMS rules.  The question “during your hospital stay, how often was your pain well controlled?” and answers “never, sometimes, usually or always” seem straight forward.  However, CMS only counts this as binary answer, always or not, and you only get credit for always.  This can clearly lead physicians feeling an increased pressure to treat pain and prescribe opioids.  Even for those Plastic Surgeons in private practice, this can be an issue with patient satisfaction surveys and online reviews.

There may not be any easy answers, but it does not mean we shouldn’t start to look for solutions.