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Safety and Cosmetic Surgery – Part 1

It goes without saying that surgery must be safe. This is particularly true with regard to cosmetic surgery. A number of factors relate to safety but the two most important are: (1) who is doing the surgery….i.e., who is the surgeon, and (2) where is the surgery being done.

Clearly, the surgeon must be experienced, board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and have active hospital privileges…these are the minimal requirements and they are easy to verify.

Where the surgery is done is equally important but sometimes more difficult to evaluate. The difference between a free standing surgical center or hospital and an office setting is significant. Hospitals and free standing surgical centers (such as the Surgery Center of Weston) have large capital budgets that allow them to have the newest and best equipment available. Office operating rooms (no matter how “state of the art”) are limited by the budget of the surgeon(s)….and typically these OR’s are filled with refurbished or second hand equipment.

Another very important difference between a hospital or free standing surgical center and an office set-up is the personnel. Of course, a board certified anesthesiologist is absolutely necessary as are nurses. However, a single anesthesiologist and a couple of nurses may not be adequate in an emergency. Hospitals and free standing surgery centers have multiple anesthesiologists and a team of nurses available at all times……office set-ups do not. Fortunately the likelihood of having a problem from anesthesia is extraordinarily small…..but it is not zero. l like to be certain that if a problem occurs, there is adequate personnel available, including anesthesiologists, nurses and the best equipment and tools to take care of it.

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