Considering Cosmetic Surgery – Top 10 Plastic Surgery Safety Points to Ponder
Who, what, when, where, how? It’s likely if you’re thinking about cosmetic surgery you want the answers to all these basic questions. If you’re looking at the world of cosmetic surgery in San Diego, you want to be a savvy shopper.
It’s not always easy to figure out who is who and what is what. We think using these Top Ten Points to Ponder will help you sort it all out. So read on…
1. PLASTIC SURGEON
If you’re thinking about surgery, we recommend that you choose a plastic surgeon. In San Diego alone there are over 100 plastic surgeons, so you have lots of choices. Plastic surgeons have years (not days or months) of rigorous surgical training.
2. BOARD CERTIFICATION
You want to be sure that your surgeon is “board certified”. Board certification involves additional testing and review of surgical results. Plastic Surgery is one of the 24 medical specialties recognized by the American Board of Specialties (ABMS). If a doctor is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) or the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), you are assured that they are a board certified plastic surgeon. All the plastic surgeons at LJC are board certified plastic surgeons, hence our trademark: Real Plastic Surgeons®.
When you meet with surgeons, you need to know about their qualifications. Ask how many years they’ve been in practice. Ask how many times they have performed the procedure that you’re considering. LJC plastic surgeons have almost 100 years of combined plastic surgery experience. Our surgeons regularly perform cosmetic surgery of the face and body. You can also view a wide array of before and after pictures. You can meet staff who have had surgery or even have a LJC patient talk to you about their cosmetic surgery experience.
4. TRAINING & TECHNIQUES
Depending upon your cosmetic surgery goals, there may be a variety of surgical options. For example, there are different types of tummy tucks, facelifts, and breast lifts. When you meet with a surgeon, talk to him about your specific goals and concerns. Then he or she can recommend the procedure and technique best suited to you. All of the plastic surgeons at LJC have extensive training in plastic surgery and are respected for their surgical quality. They will discuss these and other aspects of your surgery when you meet personally in consultation.
5. A CARING DOCTOR AND STAFF
Obviously, you want to have good rapport with the surgeon who will be doing your surgery. So when you choose a surgeon, you also choose his or her office. That means the staff, the facility, their reputation, their longevity in the community, and their commitment to patient care and safety. Look for signs of a team of dedicated professionals wherever you go. At LJC, our dedicated and caring doctors are supported by an equally dedicated and caring staff. Serving the community of San Diego for over 18 years, LJC is recognized as a national leader in patient care and communication.
6. BEFORE AND AFTER SURGERY CARE
As you consider surgeons, be sure that you understand how the practice will care for you and communicate with you before and after surgery. Will there be a Registered Nurse as well as the doctor involved in your care? At LJC, we have highly-specialized systems for educating and caring for our patients. Several weeks before your surgery you will come in for your “pre-op” education visit. You will meet with a nurse who will go through a personalized booklet of materials designed to help you prepare for surgery and recovery. Blood work will be done, and your health history will be reviewed carefully. Our nurses continue to be in touch with you prior to surgery, and after surgery you will also receive follow-up calls at home.
7. HOSPITAL PRIVILEGES
Surgeons and doctors typically have a hospital affiliation—meaning that they have “hospital privileges” at a local accredited hospital. Make sure any doctor you are considering for a surgical procedure has “hospital privileges” in that particular procedure at a local accredited hospital. All of our plastic surgeons are members in good standing at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. They all have privileges to perform the procedures they do in our office-based operating rooms at the hospital.
8. OPERATING & RECOVERY ROOM TEAM
Who is with you in surgery and immediately after is very important. At LJC when you have surgery under general anesthesia, the following people will be in the operating room (OR) with you: your plastic surgeon, a physician anesthesiologist, a Registered Nurse (RN) who “circulates” and a “scrub tech” that assists the surgeon. In our recovery room, another RN will care for you while you are recovering. All the registered nurses who work in our OR are certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS certified). We consider this level of care the “gold standard,” and we believe it is a standard that you should seek.
Another standard that we believe is important is that anesthesia is administered by a board certified anesthesiologist. That means that the doctor giving you anesthesia is qualified in the ABMS recognized specialty of Anesthesiology. Sometimes, general anesthesia is delivered by a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) or even the surgeon or an RN. Most cosmetic procedures are done under general sedation, and at LJC you can be assured that any case done under general, MAC or even IV sedation is done by an experienced board certified anesthesiologist.
10. FACILITY SAFETY
We recommend that you have your surgery in a hospital-based operating facility or in an office-based surgery center that has one of the three following accreditations: AAAASF, JACHO, or AAAHC. Accreditation by one of these groups assures you that their standards of care are being set and scrutinized by a third party. At LJC, our operating rooms are AAAASF accredited. That means that we adhere to high standards. Our facility is inspected on a regular basis and we fulfill important criteria for safety, equipment, facility, staff, and surgeons.
We hope that our “Top Ten Points to Ponder” have helped you in your search. We want you to have a wonderful and safe cosmetic surgical experience in San Diego!