Our OR is Certified for the 10th year in a row!

What Does Operating Room Certification Mean?

As you know, our patients enjoy the privacy and convenience of an operating room that is located within our New Jersey plastic surgery office. In order to offer this benefit, our operating room must be certified. It was originally built under specific (and expensive!) construction and equipment guidelines put forth by an organization called the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF, for short). The AAAASF is one of a handful of non-profits that certifies that same-day operating rooms in offices, in hospitals and in outpatient surgery centers are built, equipped and staffed at the highest standards. Further, the AAAASF sets principles of patient care that must be continuously met in order to be recertified. In essence, certification means that medical and surgical competence, as well as ethical conduct, is assured for same-day surgery patients by an external source. Surgeons, legislators, state and national health agencies acknowledge that AAAASF has set the “Gold Standard” for quality patient care.

Office-based operating facilities have grown immensely over the past 10 years, for various reasons.

• For one, the decline of available time slots in hospital-based operating rooms has been an increasing problem. Each time a hospital closes or merges with another hospital, less OR time is available for non-emergency use. This means hospital-based cosmetic surgeries can be difficult to schedule within a reasonable time frame, and patients must often wait a long time to have their elective cosmetic procedure.

• The convenience factor is another. Because we have our own operating facility, our patients never need to stand in line for registration (or, worse, visit the hospital several days in advance to register), stand in another line at the outpatient OR desk, or wait in a holding area for their procedures.

• Scheduling accuracy is a third reason for our preference of an in-office surgery suite. Our patients don’t worry that their surgery time will be delayed or cancelled by another surgery because one person, me, is in charge.

• Fourth, office-based surgery is less stressful on patients. From our patients’ arrival at our office until their discharge after recovery, the process is smoother, faster and more personalized, because everyone’s focus is entirely on that single patient. My nurse is a certified plastic surgery nurse (CPSN) as well as a certified OR nurse (CNOR) and has worked with me for over 15 years. She runs the OR and is there to greet each patient when they arrive. Since they have already met her during their consultation and pre-op visits, she’s a comforting, familiar face on surgery day. Also, my patients can see and tour the OR when they come to the office, so it is a familiar place to them.

• Further, studies have proven that certified in-office surgical suites expose patients to fewer germs and bacteria compared with hospital operating rooms. That just stands to reason: our patients are healthy people seeking cosmetic enhancements, while hospitalized patients are sick people.

• An Article in Oprah Magazine about office-based surgeries mentioned another factor: the significant economic advantage. It’s less expensive for patients to undergo a procedure in an office-based setting than in the hospital. Our overhead is lower. Our efficiency is higher. The bureaucracy is minimal. Therefore, our patients enjoy lower facility fees than if their procedure were performed in a hospital setting.

You should consider the benefit of office-based surgery when evaluating a potential cosmetic surgeon, right along with that surgeon’s qualifications, including board certification in plastic surgery. Although not every plastic surgeon can afford the luxury of an office-based operating room, those who do have shown a personal (and financial) commitment to patient care, patient safety and patient health.

To your health & beauty,

Dr. Paul LoVerme

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