Aside from your surgeon’s qualifications, another important factor you should look into is your plastic surgery facility. The general rule of thumb is to make sure that it is accredited by at least one of the following agencies stated below:
- State Health Department
- Institute for Medical Quality
- The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc.
- Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organization
- Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc.
Most of these certifying agencies have online database, which you may want to visit to verify the accreditation of your plastic surgery facility, or more accurately referred to as ambulatory surgery center (ASC).
Also, keep in mind that board-certified plastic surgeons are compelled to perform their surgeries only in accredited ASCs or hospitals.
It may be safe to surmise that most plastic surgeons these days prefer ASCs to hospitals due to a number of reasons such as:
- Most hospitals charge twice as high as ASCs.
- ASCs have qualified personnel who often deal with plastic surgery patients; the same thing may not be true for most hospitals.
- They can eliminate bureaucratic environments because they generally have a smaller number of operating rooms compared to most hospitals.
- Patients have better control over scheduling (delay or reschedule is very rare in ASCs), while “unexpected” emergency room demands are not uncommon in most hospitals due to their large-scale operation.
- Proponents of ASCs suggest that quality control processes are easier because of the small number of operating rooms; however, this might pose a challenge to hospitals with their large-scale demands.
- Some plastic surgeons believe that ASCs can give them more control as they do the hiring process.
- While it is still up for debate, some surgeons suggest that the risk of contamination is lower when plastic surgery is performed in ASCs because they generally do not handle infectious diseases. For this reason, they are the preferred venue of many surgeons performing breast implants in which a low-grade infection can lead to scar capsule (scar tissue around the device becoming thick) and high reoperation rate.
Despite the perceived benefits of ASCs, sometimes a hospital setting might be more conducive if the patient is older than 50 or has a medical condition that requires hospital stay (or close monitoring for a few days).
Some doctors also prefer a hospital setting when doing multiple surgeries, which is a common practice in mommy makeover surgery and plastic surgery after weight loss.