A SURVEY ON ONCOPLASTIC BREAST SURGERY AWARENESS AND PRACTICE PATTERNS AMONG INDIAN SURGEONS: A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY
Purpose: To assess the perspective and practice patterns of Indian surgeons concerning OBS and compare urban and rural areas.
Patients and methods: A thirteen-question survey was distributed through the social media platform WhatsApp (WhatsApp Inc, California, US) to various Indian surgical society groups across India from 5th May 2020 to 19th May 2020. The questions focused on the surgeons' experience, surgical management technique of choice in breast cancer patients, acceptance and practice of OBS, knowledge of type 1 and type 2 OBS, and axilla management.
Results: Two hundred ninety surgeons responded to the survey out of about 1000, with a response rate of 29%. 17.99% of the surgeons (n=52) practiced in a rural region, while 82.01% (n=237) practiced in an urban region. 94.12% (n=272) of the surgeons reported awareness about oncoplastic breast surgery (OBS), whereas only 5.88% (n= 17) were unaware of the existence of this procedure. 62.97% (n=182) surgeons offered OBS to their breast cancer patients, while 37.02% (n=107) did not offer OBS. 49.37% of surgeons in the urban areas do not perform OBS, whereas 78.85% do not perform it in the rural regions. It also highlights that the percentage of surgeons performing OBS with a plastic surgeon (29.41%) is higher than those who carry out the procedure by themselves (15.92%).
Conclusion: Most of the Indian surgeons are aware of OBS. In the rural areas, OBS's rate is minimal due to various reasons such as poverty, illiteracy, inaccessible radiotherapy centers, and the absence of training of surgeons in OBS. Few urban surgeons perform OBS themselves while most of them do it with the help of plastic surgeons. Mastectomy is the most commonly performed surgical intervention for breast cancer in rural regions. The practice of OBS should increase in India to improve the postoperative quality of life of breast cancer patients.
Keywords: Oncoplastic Breast Surgery, Mastectomy, Breast-conserving surgery, Indian surgeons, Oncoplasty
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