Choosing a Plastic Surgeon: Give Yourself a Safety Edge
If you’re investigating the best plastic surgeons in the NYC area, chances are you’re looking into before and after plastic surgery photos, indications of patient satisfaction and so on. In other words, you’re focusing attention on results.
When it comes to elective surgery, it’s no doubt that results are top of mind. But safety considerations should share top billing. And while it’s likely that a plastic surgeon who’s known for excellent results will also have a good track record for safety, it pays to be sure. Here are some indicators you can look for.
- Board Certification: Make sure any plastic surgeon you’re considering is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Why it’s Important: Certification by the ABPS ensures that your plastic surgeon has had at least two years of residency training focused specifically on plastic surgery and has passed rigorous oral and written exams. This is the gold standard of certification for plastic and cosmetic surgeons.
- Hospital Privileges: Your plastic surgeon should be affiliated with at least one well-known hospital nearby.
Why it’s Important: Hospitals have strict requirements for surgeons they allow to operate in their facilities. When you know your plastic surgeon is affiliated with a reputable hospital, it’s one more indication that they he or she has the education and training to perform surgery safely. One more point, ensure that your surgeon has been granted hospital privileges to perform the exact procedure you’re having. This will weed out “weekend course” surgeons who perform cosmetic surgery in their office but may not be credentialed in their hospital to do the same operation.
- Surgical Facility Accreditation: Most cosmetic surgery is performed in ambulatory (outpatient) facilities today. Make sure your plastic surgeon’s facility has the stamp of approval of the Joint Commission or the AAAASF.
Why it’s Important: These two accreditation organizations perform regular inspections of surgical facilities and require that important standards and procedures be met in order to receive the stamp of approval. Patient safety measures these two groups insist on include a safe surgical environment, anesthesia professionals for deeper levels of sedation and many more.
- Your Plastic Surgeon’s Staff: Ask about the background of your plastic surgeon’s team members.
Why it’s Important: Your anesthesiologist plays a key role on the surgical team. Ensure you’re working with an M.D. Anesthesiologist or, at very least, a Certified Nurse Anesthetist. This way you will know that your anesthesia professional will have training in life saving measures as well as general knowledge of sedation. It’s also a good sign to know that your surgical team has been together for years. This way you can be confident they operate like a well-oiled machine.
As you seek out the best plastic surgeons in metro NYC, you will find many with these qualifications. That’s also the case in other urban areas of the country, such as Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and other large cities. If you live in a less populous part of the U. S, finding a fully qualified plastic surgeon you click with may be more difficult. In this case, traveling to work with the doctor of your choice may be a good idea.