ePlasty: Vol. 12
The Relationship Between Relative Value Units and Outcomes: A Multivariate Analysis of Plastic Surgery Procedures
Khang T. Nguyen, BA,a Michael S. Gart, MD,b John T. Smetona, BA,a Apas Aggarwal,a Karl Y. Bilimoria, MD,c and John Y. S. Kim, MDb

aNorthwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; bDivision of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Northwestern Memorial Hospital; and cDivision of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Ill


Correspondence: jokim@nmh.org

Introduction: Relative value units (RVUs) were developed as a quantifier of requisite training, knowledge, and technical expertise for performing various procedures. In select procedures, increasing RVUs have been shown to substitute well for increasing surgical complexity and have been linked to greater risk of complications. The relationship of RVU to outcomes has yet to be examined in the plastic surgery population. Methods: This study analyzed nearly 15,000 patients from a standardized, multicenter database to better define the link between RVUs and outcomes in this surgical population. The American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program was retrospectively reviewed from 2006 to 2010. Results: A total of 14,936 patients undergoing primary pro .......