You’ve been considering plastic surgery, yet many questions remain about the steps to take prior to the procedure. A hospital setting can seem impersonal and that’s why many board certified plastic surgeons are using private surgical facilities to ease patient fears.
By Stephan Finical, MD
and Beverly Brooks
The Plastic Surgery Channel
The number one priority for both patients and doctors is safety. The comfort zone of a controlled environment during elective surgery can provide peace of mind. “For the patients it’s private and quiet,” says Dr. Stephan Finical, a board certified plastic surgeon in Charlotte whose practice offers a private surgical facility. “We find it’s more calming to patients before surgery.”
Locating a first class private facility can require a bit of research. It’s important to use a facility that has safety equipment appropriate for all levels of anesthesia. The physical location of the outpatient facility is also important so that hospitals are nearby in case of emergency.
Criteria to follow when selecting a facility
For the highest standards, look for a facility that is a member of the American Association for Accredidation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities or (AAAASF). The AAAASF was established in 1980 to develop an accreditation program to standardize and improve the quality of medical and surgical care in ambulatory surgery facilities while assuring the public of high standards for patient care and safety in an accredited facility.
Today, more than 2000 outpatient facilities are accredited by AAAASF, one of the largest not-for-profit accrediting organizations in the United States. Many more facilities are in process for accreditation; the numbers have increased dramatically over the last two years. Surgeons, legislators, and state and national health agencies acknowledge that AAAASF stands alone in setting the “gold standard” for quality patient care.
However, the vast majority of ambulatory surgery facilities are still unaccredited, operating independent of any peer review and inspection process. A growing number of states and specialty societies, however, are recognizing the need for mandatory accreditation. AAAASF has been and continues to be in the forefront of these legislative efforts.
Beyond the facility: Physician certification
Selecting the best, most qualified provider is critical when it comes to cosmetic procedures, and is just as important as confirming the qualifications of a surgery facility. A board certified physician has achieved all qualifications available, maintaining their certification through education, research and teaching.
Once you know you’re seeing a board certified plastic surgeon who operates in a properly accredited facility, only then will you have taken the necessary steps to put yourself in the safest environment possible.