American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Consumers

ASPS President's Page: Patient safety is at the center of everything we do

Welcome to the March installment of the President's Page – a monthly look behind the scenes at what's happening in and around ASPS.

One of the things that's most important to our Society is continued collaboration with other societies and organizations within the specialty. To this end, in January, based on fantastic work by the ASPS Task Force on BIA-ALCL led by Mark Clemens, ASPS joined with ASAPS to release updated FAQs on BIA-ALCL. We remain 100 percent committed to staying at the forefront of understanding BIA-ALCL and to keeping member surgeons and their patients informed of the latest information and science as it becomes available. Please be sure to check out our physician resources for yourself at – and our new patient-focused website that debuted last week as a resource for your patients at

In February, ASPS joined four other societies (ASAPS, ISAPS, IFATS and ISPRES) to issue a safety advisory on gluteal fat grafting. The multisociety task force, which includes Dan Mills, MD; J. Peter Rubin, MD; and Renato Saltz, MD; as co-chairs, represents not only a unique and unprecedented collaboration, but it carries an important message: Patient safety is of the utmost importance to our Society and specialty – and every surgeon performing this procedure should reevaluate his or her technique. You can find the statement here, and stay tuned as the task force continues its work on scientific studies to correlate surgical technique with anatomic danger zones. Michele Manahan, MD, our chair of the Patient Safety Subcommittee, shares below what else that group is working on toward improving our patients' outcomes.

Our communications team at the ASPS Executive Office is preparing to launch a major new Do Your Homework campaign for patients on the importance of consulting an ASPS member when considering plastic surgery. In another item below, Ash Patel, MD, chair of the Public Education Committee discusses more of the great work being done on our behalf of our members.

A reminder that the deadline to submit your 2018 Patients of Courage: Triumph Over Adversity nominees (forms available at is April 1. Several of the nominees will be recognized at Plastic Surgery The Meeting in Chicago, and many of their stories will also be featured in ASPS public outreach efforts and in the pages of PSN. These compelling stories need to be told more than just once a year at the annual meeting.

I hope that these updates provide you with a better idea of all the phenomenal work our members and staff do on an everyday basis. ASPS is always working for you, your practice and the specialty.

-Yours in Service,


Patient Safety Subcommittee Update

The ASPS Patient Safety Subcommittee remains busy on multiple fronts. Our surgeon forum for discussion of hot topics among colleagues, friends and peers (including a PSEN patient safety online chat forum to air thoughts on subjects such as medical marijuana and the opioid crisis in real time) – as well as public education campaigns (including helping patients understand surgeon credentialing and qualifications).

The subcommittee is also working to protect the rights of patients to undergo necessary procedures, which includes a migraine surgery statement, and we are both creating and refreshing various member tools, such as CME modules and consent-form templates.

The Patient Safety Subcommittee enjoys collaborating with other committees in management of fast-evolving topics such as social media use, and members should look for summaries of current practices soon—including a diabetes advisory—in addition to the recently published summary on PONV prevention and treatment.

We invite all Society members to provide input and join in these and other efforts in the patient safety arena. Meet us first through the online PSEN Patient Safety Community Chat forum to get involved in the conversation.

Through communication we conquer!

-Michele Manahan, MD, Chair

Public Education Committee Update

The Public Education Committee has been working on multiple fronts to expand public awareness on the importance of choosing a plastic surgeon board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for any cosmetic or reconstructive plastic surgery procedure.

One of our biggest initiatives is the release of the ASPS annual statistics report, which never fails to generate a great deal of media interest in new plastic surgical trends. During the first week of this campaign, which launched March 1, ASPS statistics have reached an audience of nearly 600 million across platforms such as ABC News, CNN, USA Today and numerous other national and local outlets.

Of course, public education never stops for ASPS, and other recent efforts include the launch of the Society's first Spanish-language Do Your Homework public education campaign to provide quality information to a growing patient population. We also kicked-off an informational Facelift campaign this year, and that will be followed by a major national Do Your Homework patient safety campaign to debut this month.

The committee has also been updating procedural content every month on the ASPS website, as well as adding new sections on plastic surgery procedures, such as the Mommy Makeover, Lymphedema, Vaginal Rejuvenation, Nonsurgical Vaginal Rejuvenation and Gender Confirmation. In January, three new sections were added: Buccal Fat Removal, Cheek Augmentation and Panniculectomy.

The committee has also overseen the launch of the Plastic Surgeon Match program to completely redevelop and reinvigorate the ASPS online referral service – and the early results have been fantastic. Patient traffic to members' "Enhanced Home Pages" jumped 123 percent in January 2018 compared to the same period a year ago, and there are many new features planned. On social media, our patient education messages are being seen by nearly 1 million viewers each month – and we just crossed 10,000 followers on Instagram, thanks in part to a recent slate of weekly Instagram "Takeovers" to showcase a "day in the life" of a plastic surgeon.

Through these efforts and more, ASPS continues to promote patient safety through public education as the trusted source and gold standard for every aspect of plastic surgery.

-Ash Patel, MD, Chair