J Reconstr Microsurg
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1716322
Original Article

Breaking Down Silos: Collaboration in Head and Neck Reconstruction Research

Amanda K. Silva
1  Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
Eduardo D. Rodriguez
2  Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, NYU Langone Health, New York, New York
Adam S. Jacobson
3  Department of Otolaryngology, NYU Langone Health, New York, New York
Jamie P. Levine
2  Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, NYU Langone Health, New York, New York
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Background Collaboration has been shown to be beneficial when we have complex problems and highly specialized groups, such as in head and neck reconstruction. Otolaryngology, plastic surgery, and oral maxillofacial surgeons perform head and neck reconstruction research. While the specialties represent unique backgrounds, the degree of interdisciplinary collaboration and subtopic focus is unknown. We sought to describe the frequency of interinstitutional interdisciplinary collaboration and examine the association of specialty with research subtopics.

Methods Oral presentations from 2014 to 2018 focused on head and neck reconstruction or associated principles at the main reconstructive academic meetings in otolaryngology (American Head and Neck Society), plastic surgery (American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery), and oral maxillofacial surgery (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons) were reviewed. Author specialty and institution data were recorded. All abstracts were assigned a research subtopic, chosen based on identified themes. Subtopic frequencies among the specialties were compared.

Results Thirteen of 88 (15%) US institutions participate in interdisciplinary collaboration in head and neck reconstruction research. Of the remaining institutions, 23 (31%) have researchers performing parallel work and not collaborating. Certain research subtopics were more often presented by each specialty, representing differing interests.

Conclusion Collaboration among head and neck reconstruction research at the US institutions is low compared with the potential. Specialties focus on different research subtopics, and therefore can benefit from working together.


This work was presented as oral presentation at The American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery, 2019, in Palm Springs, CA.

Publication History

Received: 13 April 2020

Accepted: 15 July 2020

Publication Date:
01 September 2020 (online)

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