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ASAPS Panel Reviews 'State of the Art' in Patient Safety

(press release from ASAPS)

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NEW YORK, April 29 -- Advances in patient safety will be the topic of a featured panel discussion during the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), April 29-May 4, at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The ASAPS meeting is the major international forum for education and research in cosmetic surgery.

ASAPS President Peter Fodor, M.D., says that a major focus of his presidency over the past year has been to increase plastic surgeons' exposure to current information on patient safety. "Increased physician education and public education on patient safety are the keys to maintaining quality outcomes in cosmetic surgery," says Dr. Fodor. "While ASAPS has always considered patient safety a principal focus of its mission, my goal has been to redouble our efforts."

In May 2004, Dr. Fodor created a Patient Safety Steering Committee, and appointed Felmont Eaves, III, M.D., chair of the Committee, in order to further his objectives for patient safety education. The committee immediately developed recommendations requiring all ASAPS members to complete at least 20 hours of Continuing Medical Education specifically on patient safety every three years. The committee also developed guidelines for ASAPS teaching courses to ensure that each instructional session includes patient safety information related to the specific operative technique being presented. In addition, special courses on advanced cardiac life support, anesthesia care, drug reactions, and postoperative complication management are being developed for future ASAPS meetings.

Recent growth in the popularity of aesthetic surgery has focused media attention on both the benefits and risks of elective plastic surgery. However, some of the information presented to the public may be misleading, says Dr. Fodor. "The effect of reality television shows about plastic surgery has been mixed. On one hand, people have an opportunity to see the benefits of cosmetic surgery, but sometimes the risks are downplayed. This is especially true when we see so many patients on these programs having multiple procedures performed at the same time. While this may be appropriate and safe in some instances, it is not advisable for everyone." The ASAPS panel will discuss measures that plastic surgeons can take to maximize safety when undertaking multiple procedures in the same operative session. "There are things we can do to increase safety, but we also need to understand when to say 'no' to patient requests for too much surgery at one time," Dr. Fodor adds.

Dr. Fodor emphasizes that patients, as well as their doctors, must assume certain responsibilities for safety. "First, people must choose their doctor carefully and ask questions to verify training and experience. Anyone with an 'M.D.' can call themselves a cosmetic surgeon and, in fact, some dentists now want to perform cosmetic surgery," he explains. "Patients also need to be truthful about their medical history, medications that they take, and it is in their best interest to carefully follow their doctor's instructions before and after surgery."

The ASAPS panel will discuss the importance of surgical facility accreditation and update plastic surgeons on state-of- the-art patient care in the ambulatory surgery setting. New safety data from the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF) will be presented.

All members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and have met additional requirements for continuing education and clinical experience in cosmetic surgery. ASAPS members are committed to patient safety and perform cosmetic surgery in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities.

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Joyce Kaye Lecture -- Aesthetic Surgery: Creating a Culture of Safety (panel discussion): Monday, May 2, 8 a.m.

PRESENTERS are available for interviews. Contact the ASAPS communications staff.

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is the leading organization of board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic plastic surgery. Since 1967, ASAPS has been the authoritative source in cosmetic surgery education and research. ASAPS' 2,200 plastic surgeons are elected to membership and are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Web site:
www.surgery.org

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