Who Can Perform Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Susan Anderson

by Susan Anderson | January 3, 2013 @ 11:00AM

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In a recent post we explored the perils of unregulated cosmetic surgery. To take that discussion one step further, we’re taking a look at where breast augmentation surgery can and should be performed and by whom.

Technically any doctor can perform breast enhancement surgery. Orthopedic surgeons, pediatricians, neurologists all have the opportunity but should they? That answer, should be “no”. Cosmetic surgeries such as breast augmentation have been growing in popularity year over year and doctors choosing to add it to their list of offerings has grown as well.

To know if you are receiving the best care possible by the most qualified professional, think about this: Where will your procedure be performed? In a doctor’s office, anything goes. In a hospital, guidelines, procedures and “privileges” are in place to identify which procedures are approved for a doctor to perform in their facility. In an office, the doctor works from their own moral code and what they decide what procedures they feel qualified to perform. In a hospital, the doctor’s education and training are reviewed and only those procedures the hospital deems appropriate are allowed.

Now, many doctors may have surgery centers attached to their practice. Surgery centers are not the same as hospitals. Most of these surgery centers are well equipped and are designed to accommodate outpatient (or same-day) surgery. Surgical centers can help keep costs down as well as saving patient time. These centers may be accredited by one of three accreditors in the U.S.-American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (Accreditation Association or AAAHC) and The Joint Commission. Surgery centers also tend to have more pleasant atmospheres than sterile hospitals and offer a feeling of luxury and additional comfort. However, just because a doctor can perform a cosmetic surgery procedure in a surgery center doesn’t mean that they have or would be able to receive privileges in a hospital for that same cosmetic procedure.

To be sure of the level of expertise of your doctor ask the question “Can you perform this procedure in a hospital?” The answer is important. Your care and experience depend on it.

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