Understanding Facility Accreditation
As with any surgery, the single most important factor in the success of aesthetic plastic surgery is the qualifications of the surgeon you select.
Another key safety factor is the facilities in which your surgeon operates. We offer the following information to help you evaluate operating facilities.
How to choose a properly accredited plastic surgery facility
A surgeon can operate in a hospital operating room or in an independent facility. You should check if the facilities are accredited by an independent organization like AAAASF, JCAHO, Medicare, or AAAHC. Accreditation ensures that certain basic operating room criteria are met and that the facility meets standards of staffing, licensing, certification, equipment, and physical plant standards.
Operating rooms in a good office-based or free-standing operating facility should be at the same standards you would expect to find in a hospital. Typically, non-hospital operating rooms provide only out-patient surgical services and do not provide on-going 24-hour care within the facility. They do, however, usually provide increased privacy and personal care.
If the surgeon operates in a hospital, check the surgeon’s hospital affiliation(s). The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has accredited qualified hospitals. If a surgeon has been appointed to a surgical staff of an accredited hospital, it indicates that the surgeon’s capabilities and performance have been reviewed and judged acceptable by medical colleagues. However, it’s still a good idea to check that the surgeon has hospital privileges to perform the specific surgical procedure you are interested in, even if you plan to have your surgery performed in an office-based surgical facility.
If the surgeon operates solely in an office-based operating room, make sure that the facility is properly accredited. One of the most recognized accreditations is the AAAASF. The American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities ensures the safety of independent surgery facilities, checking on things such as emergency readiness, equipment, and cleanliness that are critical to your safety.
Other facility accreditations that qualify an office-based operating room are Medicare and AAAHC, the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
What else to know about a facility
Whether a surgeon uses a hospital operating room or an office-based facility, it behooves you to find out as much as you can about the people who will be assisting the surgeon. Equipment is only as useful as the people manning it.
So find out who will be administering your anesthesia. We use only Board Certified MD Anesthesiologists and recommend using only Anesthesiologists at the physician level. Once again, training, education, and experience are very important in this specialty of medicine.
- Learn about our anesthesiologists.
- For more information, our anesthesiologists answer Frequently Asked Questions.
Finally, get to know your surgeon
After you have checked the credentials of a plastic surgeon, you should make an appointment for an initial consultation. This enables you to see the facility and personally meet the surgeon and staff members. How you feel about a doctor and his office is an important part of your surgical experience.
During this consultation, the surgeon will examine you, explain the operation, and give you information describing pre-operative considerations and post-operative care. You should feel comfortable discussing your expectations and questioning the surgeon on any aspect of the surgery. A qualified and reputable plastic surgeon—like one of our Real Plastic Surgeons®—will be happy to answer your questions and inform you of the possible risks and side effects associated with the surgery.
Patients who schedule surgery at LJC are given extensive written materials about the entire operative experience. Ask for references and look at pictures of before and after surgical results for the procedure(s) in which you are interested. If a family member or a friend has personally referred you to the practice, so much the better. All of our board certified plastic surgeons have hospital privileges at Scripps Memorial Hospital. And our facility has on-site operating rooms that are accredited by AAAASF.
We hope you will choose La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre & Medical Spa for your procedure, but even if you don’t, you should still be sure that you use the criterion listed above to choose your surgeon and facility. Ask questions and be sure that your qualified plastic surgeon operates in an accredited facility. We strongly believe this will help you obtain the best and safest medical care.
Call or text us at (858) 452-1981 to ask for a complimentary worksheet that can help you compare the qualifications of the surgeons and facilities you are considering! You can also call us to set up a free consultation appointment with one of our board certified plastic surgeons.
Note: This article reflects our opinions and beliefs about the topics covered herein.