Is your plastic surgeon keeping you safe? Every year hundreds of thousands of cosmetic surgical procedures are performed, many by board-certified surgeons in accredited hospitals or other medical facilities. However, there are many outpatient locations in which non-specialists not subject to the standards of state and federal regulations execute the same procedures. In such environments, even common procedures such as liposuction can turn deadly without proper protection from risks such as infection.
A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine examined fatal outbreaks of streptococcus infections in liposuction patients. The study found that the outpatient facilities involved had poor infection control practices, including improperly sterilized equipment and a lack of training in protecting patients from the outbreak of infection. The authors’ assessments indicated the lack of regulation among such practices and concluded that the current level of oversight in such cosmetic surgery facilities is not sufficient. They agree that more regulation should be put in place for the health and safety of the patients.
Ensuring that you are receiving care from a plastic surgeon with full certification and that your operation is taking place at an accredited location is an important step you can take to plan a safe and effective surgery. Be proactive in working with your healthcare professional to educate yourself and minimize any risks potentially associated with your surgery.
Patients and doctors alike can benefit from widespread adoption of safer medical practices. Comprehensive training and certification along with properly prepared surgical environments are among the most fundamental steps to increasing quality of care across the board.
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