During my career as a certified plastic surgical registered nurse, I have occasionally witnessed unanticipated sequelae during the perioperative experience of patients. The anesthesiologists and surgeons who I have worked with have recognized potential complications early and were able to intervene quickly and safely.
I’m a big believer in educating patients. The general public should always ask the five questions below when considering plastic surgery in an office-based setting. I have gathered these questions from various journals and magazines that I have read over the years. I always say that an educated and informed patient is more likely to have an optimal outcome.
1. What are the surgeon’s qualifications? Is the surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (abplsurg.org)? How much training has this surgeon done regarding your specific procedure?
Is the anesthesiologist licensed in your state and is their license in good standing with the Department of Health and the Board of Medicine? Remember, this person is putting you to sleep.
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2. How often has your surgeon done this procedure?
3. What are your potential risks and complications? When your surgeon/anesthesiologist tells you this is a risk free procedure; there is no such thing.
4. Where is your surgery taking place? You should only have surgery in a hospital, licensed ambulatory surgical facility, or an accredited office-based facility. Never have surgery in a medi spa or an unaccredited doctor’s office, clinic or center. Websites to check this are: aaaasf.org, aaahc.org or qualitycheck.org
5. Ask your surgeon if they have hospital privileges. If something goes wrong, and you need to be transferred to a hospital, you want your surgeon to treat you himself rather than leaving you at the emergency department’s door.
Juliette A. Robbins,