Cosmetic surgery patients probably focus more on their choice of surgeon rather than where the surgery is going to be carried out. But where you have your surgery should be as important as who does it. A good surgeon is more likely to operate in a safe operating room supported by experienced staff.
Maintaining patient safety in the operating room is a major concern of surgeons, hospitals, and surgical facilities. Circumventing preventable complications is essential and the pressure to avoid these complications during elective cosmetic surgery is especially important. The responsibility for complications ultimately lies with the surgeon. Careful attention to patient safety guidelines should be of paramount importance to surgeons, especially during elective cosmetic procedures.
A surgeon can operate in a hospital operating room or in an independent facility. Always check that the facilities are accredited by an independent organisation like the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Accreditation ensures that certain basic operating room criteria are met and that the facility meets standards of staffing, licensing, certification and equipment.
Elise Bevan, a solicitor in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches, says: “As with any surgery, an important factor in the success of a cosmetic procedure is the qualifications and expertise of the surgeon. But another key safety factor is the facilities in which your surgeon operates. Procedures are increasingly being performed in office-based operating rooms that typically only provide outpatient surgical services rather than ongoing 24 hour care. These non-hospital facilities should be at the same standards you would expect to find in a hospital. Whether a surgeon uses a hospital operating room or an office-based facility, find out as much as you can about the people who will be assisting the surgeon, in particular who will be administering your anaesthetic. You should pay just as much attention to checking their qualifications as you would the surgeon’s.”