Safety Before Surgery: Five Tips to Consider Before Going Under the Knife
Posted March 26, 2018
1. Do your homework.
Although most plastic surgery is considered an elective procedure, it is still surgery and should be treated as such. Safety begins with you so educate yourself on the procedure and set realistic expectations with your surgeon. Be aware of potential complications and how your surgeon would treat them. Revisions are not entirely unexpected and may have to be addressed regardless of the skills and qualifications of the surgeon. Discuss your recovery period and who will be taking care of you after your surgery. If you need to speak to the surgeon, how would you get a hold of him/her? Talk with other surgeons and get a few consultations so you feel confident with your decision.
2. Choose your surgeon wisely.
Your prospective surgeon should be recognized by the American Board of Plastic Surgery which means they have completed an accredited plastic surgery residency program as well as passed strict oral and written exams. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties whereas the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is not. It is important to verify that the surgeon has hospital privileges as this lets you know that the surgeon has been approved by his peers and had to meet requirements set forth by a hospital committee. Close friends, colleagues, and family can be strong referral sources when choosing a surgeon. Your primary care physician may also provide a solid recommendation. Review a surgeon’s website and read their reviews. The internet provides information that can be helpful in choosing your surgeon but remember these sources may not always be authentic. The website should contain information such as their personal biography, before and after photos and the types of procedures the surgeon performs.
3. Know where your surgery will be performed.
Surgery should always be performed in an accredited surgical facility which can be represented through an AAAASF, AAAHC, or JCAHO certification. Some surgery centers may not be monitored or inspected by the state therefore they may be considered substandard. Discuss with your surgeon where he/she will perform your surgery and any questions you may have about the facility prior to your surgical date. This is also the time to address hospital privileges as the surgeon should carry those with a nearby hospital in case of an emergency.
4. Who Is Putting You to Sleep?
A board-certified Anesthesiologist or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist should be administering your anesthesia. They will review your medical history and discuss any concerns with you and the surgical team prior to your surgery date.
5. Communication is key.
Communication should flow easily between the patient and the office staff. Successful surgical results are the responsibility of all involved. Any concerns or questions should be answered promptly and pre and post op instructions should be clear and concise. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable communicating with staff and disclosing personal information? Are surgical fees discussed and clearly stated? Was information available to you in a timely manner and staff easily accessible? It is important to schedule your plastic surgery consultation to meet not only with the plastic surgeon, but also with his office staff, and make sure you are able to effectively communicate with everyone who will be involved with your case.