Patient Safety

When choosing a surgeon to perform your cosmetic surgery, you should want someone who makes patient safety a priority. The first place to start is with an evaluation of a surgeon’s training and certification. Only plastic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties through the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Surgeons who are board certified in plastic surgery have attained the highest level of expertise and training possible for cosmetic surgery. There is nothing comparable to board certification in plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons are required to re-certify every ten years and are also required to participate in continuing medical education each year which includes on-going training in patient safety. Members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons also adhere to a strict code of ethics that always puts the interest of the patient above all else. Learn more at plasticsurgery.org. Experience is important. By the time a plastic surgeon has completed their surgical training, they have done thousands of surgeries, and had a very extensive experience with different medical and surgical problems.

The goal of plastic surgery residency programs is to graduate plastic surgeons who have the experience and judgment to provide surgical care to patients in a safe and competent manner. The longer a surgeon is in practice, the more experience they will have with both routine and unique or special patient problems. Dr. Fleming has had over 23 years of experience as a plastic surgeon. Next, it is important to evaluate the facility where your surgery will be performed. Any significant surgery should be performed in a certified surgical facility such as a licensed surgery center or a hospital. This will ensure that properly trained anesthesiologists and nurses are available to provide the perioperative care that is needed to ensure your safety. Finally, ask your surgeon where they have hospital privileges. Hospitals are also committed to patient safety. In order to obtain privileges at a hospital, a surgeon’s credentials must be reviewed by a special hospital committee that will evaluate their training, board certification, malpractice history, and review their state medical license for any restrictions. A criminal background check will also be performed. During your consultation, be sure to ask the surgeon if they have privileges at a local hospital. Dr. Fleming has active medical staff privileges at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, WA.

When Nafsika Lourentzatos was younger, she wanted to have bigger breasts, but didn’t want to have surgery. Instead, she underwent a procedure in which silicone was injected into her breasts, tragically leading to cancer and a double mastectomy. Nafsika’s story highlights the importance of always doing your homework when considering plastic surgery and choosing a highly-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon to ensure the safest outcome.
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