Savvy plastic surgery patients always shop around for the best board certified surgeon, but finding the right hospital or surgical center for your procedure is equally important. Most plastic surgeons have privileges to operate at several facilities, so you aren’t limited to the first location that pops up on your surgeon’s schedule. You may be able to lower the cost of plastic surgery and enjoy more comfortable surroundings by exploring a number of facilities beforehand. Use these tips to guide your research:
- Talk to your surgeon. When you consult a plastic surgeon, ask about the facilities where he or she has privileges. Ask the surgeon’s staff to give you comparative quotes on the cost of having your procedure at different locations. If you’re having a procedure that requires a stay of more than one night, like a mommy makeover, your surgeon may recommend that you have the procedure in a hospital. Outpatient procedures like liposuction, breast augmentation and face lifts can usually be performed in an ambulatory surgical center. Surgical centers may offer more competitive hourly rates than major hospitals, and many of these outpatient facilities cater to self-pay patients having plastic surgery.
- Contact the facility. Some hospitals and surgery centers have dedicated plastic surgery departments, where nurses and administrative staff go the extra mile to make the experience comfortable and efficient. Before you make arrangements to have surgery, contact a number of facilities to ask about their services for cosmetic patients. While hospitals usually provide more extensive services than surgical centers, the staff at an independent surgical center may be more attentive, and the atmosphere may offer more privacy and pampering.
- Ask about accreditation. Look for a facility is accredited by one or more organizations like JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations), Medicare or the AAAASF (the American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities). These organizations oversee medical facilities to ensure that they comply with regulations regarding safety, cleanliness and competency. Organizations like JCAHO and the AAAASF ensure that the clinical personnel on the facility’s staff are trained to provide quality care and to handle emergencies.
- Ask about anesthesiology. Whether you undergo general anesthesia or sedation, the anesthesiologist is a vital member of the surgical team. Accredited hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers use highly qualified MD anesthesiologists who are certified by the ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialties). The more you know about your care providers and the facility where you’ll be having your procedure, the more confident you’ll feel on the day of your surgery.