A ^Retired Plastic Surgeon's Notebook

Is your plastic surgeon’s in-office OR certified? You should ask!

Seattle Plastic Surgeon is off to Spokane to inspect an in-office operating for the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc.  (AAAASF)

cc inspector

Inspector Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

I am off to my hometown, Spokane, this weekend both to visit family but also to inspect the in-office operating room of one of Spokane’s plastic surgeons for AAAASF.  I’ll be snooping around and looking not only at the facility’s physical space and equipment and medical supplies, I will be scrutinizing their policies and procedures, staff education and certification and looking through about a dozen patient charts.  It’s a very comprehensive evaluation for what is considered by many (me included) the Gold Standard in Accreditation.

One very important thing that sets AAAASF apart from some other accreditation authorities is that AAAASF not only looks at the facility and patient care, they look closely at surgeon qualifications.

In many states including Washington State, anyone with an MD license can play surgeon.  In fact, all MD  licenses from the Washington State Department of Health state “Physician and Surgeon” even if the MD has not set foot in an operating room since medical school.  There are no restrictive “scope of practice” laws in Washington.  Crazy, huh?  Oh, and a little scary.

Fortunately AAAASF thinks that surgery should be performed by surgeons, meaning those of us who have formal training and board certification in surgery.  AAAASF even requires that the procedures done in an in-office OR be within the scope of practice of the surgeons board certification.  And by board certification they mean a board which is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and not some self-designated board.  The American Board of Plastic Surgery is recognized by ABMS whereas the self-designated American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is not.

Also, AAAASF requires that the surgeons using the in-office OR have hospital operating privileges for the procedures performed in the in-office OR in an accredited hospital within 30 minutes of the in-office OR.  It may be shocking to some, but some franchise cosmetic surgery businesses fly non-plastic surgeons in from out of state  to do liposuction for a few days and fly them back home.

So if you are looking into having a procedure done in an in-office operating room, it would be prudent to check to see if they are accredited by AAAASF.  If they aren’t, why not???

Thanks for reading and be sure to do your homework!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder



Category: Government and Politics, Patient Beware, Patient Safety, Plastic Surgery | Tags: , , ,

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