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What to Look for in a Safe Operating Room

Operating Room Safety is Beneficial to Your Plastic Surgery Procedure

If you’re interested in having a plastic surgery procedure, then you’re most likely putting 100% of your focus on choosing the right surgeon. As experts in plastic surgery, we wanted to remind you that the condition of the operating room where you’ll have the surgery is just as important as who performs the procedure itself. Any reputable surgeon will make operating room safety his or her chief priority and perform surgery in a hospital or surgery center that has been accredited by a recognized national certifying agency.

What an Accredited Operating Room Should Have

Accredited operating rooms in hospitals or surgery centers should have a patient’s rights and responsibilities prominently displayed. An accredited operating room will also have a number of other features, which may not be easily seen, but are all in place to ensure patient safety, including:

  • Peer review: Surgeons serve as monitors for each other to make sure safety measures and standards of care are followed.
  • Data tracking: Incidents of infections, complications, sterilization checks, and other data are monitored and measured.
  • Communication with patients: Patient care and treatment should be explicitly reviewed with each patient.
  • Emergency protocols: Fire, earthquake, and other emergency procedures are reviewed with patients.
  • Expiration review: Drugs and emergency medical supplies are regularly checked and replaced.
  • Trained staff: Staffing positions are filled with the appropriately certified or licensed individuals.
  • Anesthesia professionals: A licensed anesthesiologist should be on hand to administer and monitor deep or prolonged levels of anesthesia.
  • Quality management: Protocols are checked to ensure best standards are conducted and reviewed every three years.

What an Accredited Operating Room Should Not Have

During your initial consultation with your plastic surgeon, ask if you could have a tour of the hospital or surgery center where you’ll have the surgery, or if you can at least see pictures. Keep an eye out for these features, which may seem benign at first glance, but all indicate an operating room that has not met basic requirements for operating room safety:

  • Venetian blinds: Venetian blinds are notoriously hard to clean. If blood or other fluids spray onto them, they may never be completely cleaned, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Carpeting: It’s very tough to clean and disinfect spills on carpets. Spills can be more easily cleaned and disinfected if the floor is bare.
  • A sink: A sink with an open drain is a big “no-no” in safe operating rooms. Why? Anything that goes down a drain (like dirt, bacteria, mold, and fluids) can come back up. Those are all things you want kept away from open incisions.
  • A baseboard: A baseboard between the wall and the floor is another hard-to-clean spot where dirt and bacteria can collect.

Make Sure Your Surgeon uses an Accredited Operating Room

If you’re planning to have plastic surgery, confirm that your surgeon will be operating in a hospital or surgical center that has been accredited by one of these nationally recognized agencies:

  1. The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities
  2. Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care
  3. Institute for Medical Quality
  4. Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organization

Don’t be afraid to ask your potential surgeon if he or she performs surgery in an accredited facility. If the surgeon can’t immediately answer “yes” and provide proof, then keep searching.

Northeastern Plastic Surgery understands your desire for a beautiful, youthful looking body and facial appearance. We use the latest plastic surgery techniques to perform a variety of surgical procedures. Dr. Fodero and the staff are very friendly, helpful, and available to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.