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Cosmetic Surgery Consultation-How to Prepare, What to Ask and What to Expect (Part-2)


In part one of this article the questions that you should ask your cosmetic surgeon were covered. Here we will discuss other important aspects of your consultation that need to be addressed such as where your surgery is to be performed.

Part 2

You may not realize how important it is to ask where your surgery will be performed. Cosmetic procedures can be preformed in a hospital, surgical facility or in the office. There are pros and cons for all. Having your surgery in a hospital would guarantee the best resuscitation equipment, anesthesia given by a qualified anesthesiologist and an operating room that meets strict hospital standards. The negative side of having your surgery in a hospital is the cost. The cost can be 60 to 70 percent higher than if you were to have it in an outpatient setting. If you have the surgery in an out patient setting there are important things to check. You should verify that the facility is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) or the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF).

An example of why accreditation by one of these organizations is important would be to look at the standards of the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF). The accreditation by the AAAASF would guarantee that the director of the facility is board certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) in a surgical specialty and has hospital privileges. Also, you will have your anesthesia given by a board-certified anesthesiologist or a certified registered nurse anesthesiologist. Accreditation by the AAAASF also means that the facility where you will have your surgery met strict safety and sanitation standards. AAAASF will also accredit the site depending on the type of anesthesia that is used. These are Class A (local or topical), Class B (local, topical and intravenous) and Class C (topical to general- all forms). If you decide to have outpatient surgery make sure that your surgeonís facility is certified in the type of anesthesia that you were told that you were going to have.

Concerns over whether a plastic surgeonís surgical facility meets acceptable safety standards has led the ASPS and the ASAPS to issue this statement: ***************************************

"The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery have issued a statement to their members that by July 1, 2002 all plastic surgery performed under anesthesia, other than minor local anesthesia and/or minimal oral tranquilization, must be performed in a surgical facility that meets at least one of the following criteria:

*Accredited by a national or state recognized accrediting agency/organization such as the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), or Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)

*Certified to participate in the Medicare program under Title XVIII
 

*Licensed by the state in which the facility is located" ****************************************

Cosmetic Surgery is not cheap, therefore evaluating fees for the surgery is very important. The total cost can include hospital fees and the work of the anesthesiologist. There can be hidden costs that you should be aware of which may include post-operative checkups, medications, compression garments and lab work. Fees will vary depending upon who the surgeon is and your geographical area. Where you live can determine cosmetic surgeonsí fees. Physicians can charge a lot more in Southern California, Southern Florida and NYC than they could, lets say in South Dakota. Some surgeons charge for a consult and some donít. Be aware that free consultations may be used as a gimmick to obtain patients. On the other hand, some surgeons tell you that your consultation fee will be refunded if you decide to have the surgery with him. Choosing a cosmetic surgeon should have nothing to do with how the consultation fee is handled.

Lately, borrowing to pay for Cosmetic Surgery in the US has become very popular. There are actual financing companies who work with Plastic Surgeons who offer to finance the operation. Be careful of these arrangements. This is not a good way to choose your surgeon. Many times the finance company will evaluate your financial situation and then send you to a surgeon that is on their list.

If after the consultation you are excited and feel as though you definitely want the surgery, try not to schedule that day. You should go home and think about it. Remember; you should see other physicians for consultations, preferably two or three, and if you decide to have the surgery, you should see your selected surgeon at least two times before the surgery to go over your concerns.

_________________________________

To learn more about the different accrediting agencies for outpatient surgical facilities and how to check your physicians credentials go to:
Researching Your Physician

Link to the site that discusses the statement by the ASPS and the ASAPS regarding outpatient surgery.
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Back to Part 1

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