About the Surgeon:
Question 1: Are you certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery? Then call the Board to verify at 1-800-635-0635 or visit www.PlasticSurgery.org to confirm.
Question 2: Where did you obtain your plastic surgery training? Training programs in plastic surgery affiliated with medical schools are generally regarded as the best.
Question 3: What percentage of your practice is dedicated to aesthetic surgery? Many plastic surgeons concentrate on other areas of specialization, such as burns, reconstruction, or hand surgery. Also, plastic surgeons who focus on lasers, injectables and fillers often do so because their surgical procedure practice is not busy.
Question 4: How many times per year do you perform this operation?
Question 5: At which local hospitals to you have privileges to perform this procedure? Even if surgery is performed in the office, the surgeon should have at least one hospital as a backup. Then call the hospital’s medical staff office to verify the privileges.
Question 6: Who responds to patients’ questions or problems after hours and on weekends? Does someone else answer the page? The relationship with your plastic surgeon only starts on the day of surgery. You want to know that you can reach the doctor if an emergency arises. Try calling on a Saturday afternoon before surgery to see how difficult it is to get through.
About the Facility:
Question 7: Where will the operation be performed? (Hospital? Outpatient Surgical Center? Office?) Many reputable surgeons choose to operate in their office. However, sometimes this is a tip off that the doctor does not have hospital privileges.
Question 8: If the operation is done right in the office, what happens if there is a problem during surgery? Is there enough backup staff and equipment? There is no mandatory certification of office surgery in Florida. It is up to the facility to maintain its staff, equipment and procedures up-to-date in case of emergency.
Question 9: May I see the operating room? If it is not possible right now, make an appointment to come back when it is convenient. Don’t take no for an answer. It if doesn’t look safe, run, don’t walk, to the exit.
Note: Plastic surgery clinicsoften boasta “Certified Facility”, even though they are merely on-the-premises office operating rooms. They are cheaper and more convenient for the surgeon/owner. However, the problem with these facilities is: 1) Backup (see Question 8) and 2) Accountability (independent ambulatory surgery centers have strict peer review processes that ensure quality care. Private offices typically have no such patient safeguards.)
About the Anesthesia:
Question 10: Who will be administering the anesthesia and what are his/her credentials? (A doctor, a nurse, the plastic surgeon?) The anesthetist is an important and integral part of the safety and comfort the patient will experience during the surgery.