What is an Accredited Plastic Surgery Center? (And Why is it Important?)Published February 13, 2020 by Kirby Plastic Surgery
When electing to have plastic surgery, you’re likely to spend significant time researching procedures. You probably also know to make sure your plastic surgeon is board certified and has the experience necessary to achieve your desired outcome. But have you stopped to consider where your surgery will be performed and how the facility measures up when it comes to quality, safety, and sterility?
Choosing a plastic surgery center that is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF) means that it meets the highest standards for office-based operating room safety. It’s important to understand what that entails and how this certification will help you stay safe.
What Does it Mean to be AAAASF Accredited?
Holding this accreditation means that the facility meets stringent criteria that is essential to your safety and wellbeing, including:
Safe, hygienic facilities
There are many instruments and pieces of equipment used during surgery, and accredited facilities must show that these materials are properly cleaned, sterilized, and maintained. Machines and monitors (including life support devices) must function safely and correctly. The surgical instruments are proven to be sterilized in a highly regulated process to prevent the spread of bacteria. The operating room must be designed precisely; for example, no baseboards are allowed, since they may harbor bacteria. The operating room must be clean, organized, and up to code in all respects.
AAAASF accreditation ensures that a facility meets over 350 standards for quality, safety, and sterility.
Qualified surgeon and staff
To earn accreditation, not only must surgeons be highly qualified and trained, the staff must be as well. Nurses, anesthesiologists, technicians, and other members of the OR team play an integral role in surgical procedure safety—and you want to ensure that they are fully licensed and prepared to respond to any issues that may arise. Accredited surgery centers are required to have emergency plans in place, appropriate medications and equipment available, and personnel on site who are trained to respond quickly.
Adherence to strict standards
Accreditation by the AAAASF is voluntary, but receiving this designation shows that a surgery center is committed to upholding the highest standards of safety and quality. Facilities undergo rigorous inspections and evaluations to ensure that they meet the requirements. These include regular visits and audits to verify that facilities remain in compliance, and peer review of patient cases by plastic surgery colleagues. Any issues must be promptly corrected to maintain accreditation.
Credibility as a facility
Before applying for AAAASF accreditation, a surgical center must operate for a certain period of time under state certification. This waiting period means that facilities are established and have a proven track record of success. Accreditation affirms their credibility and reputation. You can feel confident that your privacy is protected, there are no red flags, and the facility is well run and maintained.
Safe plastic surgery depends on a number of factors
In addition to talking to plastic surgeons about their qualifications, take the time to learn more about the facility where they operate and how they ensure your safety and wellbeing. Verify that their operating room maintains accreditation and ask for information about the team that will be assisting your surgeon.
Kirby Plastic Surgery is pleased to maintain a private, AAAASF-accredited operating facility in Fort Worth, Texas. To learn more about Dr. Kirby, the staff, the facility, or available services, contact us today.