Nuts and Bolts of a Surgi-Center
Three types of outpatient surgery are possible: Surgery can be done in a hospital as an outpatient, in a surgi-center, or a physician’s office. Usually only minor procedures such as removal of skin lesions are done in a doctor”s office, more major procedures usually require the support systems of a hospital or a surgi-center. Currently, most plastic surgeons prefer surgi-centers for operations that do not require an overnight stay.
Surgi-centers are further divided into those that can perform surgery under local anesthesia only, and those that can use general anesthesia. A certified surgi-center is one that gets examined on a regular basis by an approved agency to maintain the highest standards possible.
Our own certified surgi-center, The Plastic Surgery Center, has been in existence since 1985, and we have passed full certification to use general anesthesia every two years since then. We are certified by The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF) and literally hundreds of requirements must be met to receive certification. Key personnel are advanced cardiac life support certified. The intervening year between on-site certification, requires written compliance with published standards, as well as peer review of charts. Requirements change every year with the focus on increased safety for the patients and continued higher standards. Please refer to additional resource article “Accreditation/Surgi-Center” for more information.
To accomplish the safety of surgery in an out-patient setting, only healthy patients for appropriate surgeries are scheduled. Patients in poor health, or for long complicated procedures requiring one to several days of hospital observation are better off in a hospital. In our own practice, any patient can choose to have their surgery in a hospital.
Most plastic surgeons prefer an out-patient surgi-center setting for a variety of reasons: increased privacy for the patients; a less “intense” environment; staff that is personally hired by the physician, thereby maintaining a high level of expertise in plastic surgery; and a predictable flow to the surgical schedule without interruption for emergency or urgent cases. Patients seem to be less frightened in a certified surgi-center, making the entire experience more comfortable. Further, a much smaller ratio of patients to recovery room is common allowing for more personalized care.
Our own experience with thousands of operations has been very favorable. Apart from a small percentage of non-life threatening complications that could occur in any setting, most patients have their surgery, leave a few hours later with verbal and written instructions, and are routinely called the evening of surgery. The entire staff gets to know the patient, from their pre-op consultation, through the surgery, and their post-op care.
Contact Us for More Information
For confidential personalized information and advice, please complete our information request form or call us at 1-800-640-0290 during business hours: Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. & Friday 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon EST.