PSC Roundtable

Heart Attack During Breast Aug… What Would PSC Doctors Do?

Heart Attack During Breast Aug… What Would PSC Doctors Do?

Recently a breast augmentation procedure went from routine to emergency when the patient underwent cardiac arrest. Instead of immediately ending the procedure after resolving the emergency, the plastic surgeon opted to finished the breast augmentation.

Contributing Editors of the Plastic Surgery Channel were asked their thoughts on a situation and what would have been the right thing to do.

by The Plastic Surgery Channel

Surgery is Serious Business

Cosmetic surgery is unique in medicine in that people elect to have surgery. Because patients are choosing to undergo a procedure, one would assume that the procedure must be safe. The truth is it is indeed safe! BUT, surgery is still surgery.

No matter the procedure, when general anesthesia is involved, there are risks. The vast majority of cosmetic procedures happen without complication, but problems do arise, as they did for the patient in question who had a heart attack during the procedure. What’s important is that patients have selected qualified physicians who know how to handle emergencies.

“As the mother of two children – whose had cosmetic surgery, I’ve had liposuction – I can tell you, I’d be disappointed if I went in for a procedure and it wasn’t completed,” admits Dr. Pat McGuire, a practicing plastic surgeon in St. Louis. “But I would have been more disappointed to not wake up from the procedure! I can’t imagine any of our anesthesia personnel allowing us to continue with a purely cosmetic procedure in the face of a cardiac arrest.”

HA1

Was this legitimate medicine?

The fact that the surgeon chose to continue onward with the surgery after stabilizing the patient is worrisome. Maybe the patient had an underlying issue that needed a closer look? Maybe they were stabilized at that moment, but wouldn’t be for long, and might not recover the second time. Is it worth putting that patient at risk to finish the breast augmentation procedure?

“It doesn’t sound [that it was legitimate medicine], but we don’t really know the details,” says Dr. Dan Del Vecchio of Boston. “I mean what would you do? Take out the other implant? Apparently one of the implants was in, do you take the one out? Do you leave her with one implant? I’m not sure we really know all the details of this case. I think the message, the take-away, that I want to give is that if you’re going to do surgery on people, that’s a big responsibility. Do it in a real operating room. Do it with a real anesthesiologist. Do what’s right for the patient.”

Del Vecchio’s point lies in the experience and knowledge of board certified physicians.  Surgeon’s experience every kind of situation in their training, and plastic surgeons in particular might not even concentrate on cosmetic procedures until much later in training when their surgical experience is already vast, the kind of experience that would prep a surgeon to handle cardiac arrest.

In addition to surgeon qualifications, trusting your surgeon to partner with a board certified anesthesiologist is critical. The trust, knowledge, and experience between the two is what keeps your surgical experience a safe one.

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

PSC Roundtable

More in PSC Roundtable

Selfies and plastic surgery.

The Link Between Selfies & Plastic Surgery

Anne MeyerFebruary 2, 2017
Breast implant manufacturers.

Breast Implant Manufacturers — Does It Matter?

Katherine StuartDecember 20, 2016
Subtle plastic surgery scars.

Embracing Subtle Scars for Beautiful Results

Adam McMillonDecember 14, 2016
Breast Size and Weight Loss

How Weight Loss Impacts Breast Size

Anne MeyerNovember 21, 2016
pixee fox plastic surgery addiction

Pixee Fox — Plastic Surgery Addiction?

Katherine StuartNovember 14, 2016
michelle jenneke breast augmentation athletes

Breast Augmentation and Athletes

Isabel BoltOctober 31, 2016

Botox: Still The Top Non-Surgical Treatment

Adam McMillonOctober 27, 2016

Can Breast Implants Be Toxic?

Katherine StuartOctober 18, 2016

Bye, Bye Bat Wings

Anne MeyerOctober 14, 2016