Do Your Homework
Selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform your procedure is an important step in achieving your optimal surgical outcome safely. Doing your homework means understanding your procedure, having trust in your surgeon and assuring your surgical facility is safe and accredited.
Safety First: Surgery at an accredited facility
Your surgeon may opt to perform the procedure in a hospital setting or in an out patient or day surgery center.
An accredited facility is one that must meet strict national standards for equipment, operating room safety, personnel and surgeon credentials.
The advantages of accredited facilities
Plastic surgery performed by board-certified plastic surgeons in accredited ambulatory facilities - also known as outpatient surgery centers or same day surgery centers - has an excellent safety record. Accredited ambulatory facilities have been documented, through research and the compilation of required reporting, to have:
- An extremely low rate of serious complications (less than half of 1 percent)
- An extremely low mortality rate (less than one in 57,000)
- The advantage of lower costs
If you need to recuperate overnight or for a few days in a specialty post-surgical treatment facility, make certain that you inquire about that facility's accreditation or licensing as well. In general, accreditation or licensing of such facilities requires that:
- You receive around-the-clock care by a minimum of two or more licensed staff members at all times
- At least one of the two staff members providing around-the clock care be certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
- Necessary equipment and medication to handle any complications are on-site
- An emergency plan is defined and ready to be implemented should any complication arise that requires transferring a patient to a hospital
Accredited facilities: A consumer guide
ASPS requires that member surgeons use surgical facilities that meet established standards for quality and safety. All procedures, other than those requiring only local anesthetic and/or mild oral sedation, must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF)
- Accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC)
- Accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations
- Certified to participate in the Medicare program under title XVIII
- A License by the state in which the facility operates.
In general, accreditation or the equivalent requires a facility to:
- Allow surgery to be performed only by an ABMS-certified or board eligible surgeon who has privileges to perform the same procedures at a local, accredited hospital
- Provide anesthesia by a board-certified or board-eligible anesthesiologist or certified nurse anesthetist
- Maintain a staff of certified surgical technicians, registered nurses or licensed practical nurses who are trained in ACLS and to recognize the signs of cardiac or respiratory distress
- Adhere to all local, state and national regulations including sanitation, fire safety and building codes
- Adhere to all federal laws and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations including blood-borne pathogen and hazardous waste standards
- Use and practice advanced monitoring for patient safety during surgery and immediate recovery. You can verify the accreditation status of any surgical facility by contacting the accrediting organization, specifically: