The Operating Room
You’ve made the decision to go through with the process. You did your due diligence, you researched the surgeon and met the staff. You talked to some of your surgeon’s prior patients and ready up on his reviews in the online websites. You know your surgeon is double-board certified in two areas the complement each other and your surgery well. Your insurance is even picking up part of the cost for the procedure.
Did you get a chance to see the operating room where your surgery will take place? Plastic surgery is surgery, and it take place in an operating room and it’s a great idea to take a look at the operating room before your procedure. Below, we’ll give you a few things to look for to determine how professional, how safe and how clean the operating room is.
A Clean Operating Room
There are several things to look for in the operating room that will give you an immediate tip-off as to how clean the room is, and some of these are counter-intuitive or maybe something you just wouldn’t think about otherwise.
- Carpet – this is an obvious one. Your surgery should take place somewhere that can be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis and any room with carpet will have a hard time being thoroughly cleaned of blood, other body fluids or spilled liquids. An operating room with carpet should be an instant indicator to you that cleanliness hasn’t been given adequate consideration.
- Baseboards – we all have them at home but it’s important to realize that in an operating room, baseboards are considered a problem. Spilled or splashed blood or other fluids can find it’s way into the cracks above and below this baseboard and go unnoticed.
- Venetian Blinds on the windows – we’ve all tried to clean these things and have all given up at one point or another. You don’t want something that is inherently difficult to clean in the operating room and Venetian blinds fall into this category.
A Safe Operating Room
As with the Clean Operating Room, there are a few things to look for. Some are obvious, some are not.
- Backup generator – what happens if the power goes out in the middle of your procedure? A well equipped operating room will have a backup generator to ensure mother nature doesn’t take your surgical procedure off track.
- Inspected and Accredited – the medical industry takes operating room inspections and accreditation very seriously and the serious surgeon will do the same. This is an area a surgeon who has gone through the time and effort…and money…required to certify their operating room will be proud of and be more than happy to show you. The surgeon who’s back office room has never been visited by an any inspector might not be so forthcoming and might offer explanations that accreditation and certifications are really not that important. I would ask you to consider just how important this is with respect to your own health.
- Clutter Free – this is a relative expectation as there tends to be a lot of equipment in an operating room and most of it is necessary. Still though, notice the layout and how easily everybody moves through the room. Does anybody trip over anything? Does anybody seem to not expect objects to be where they are? Trip hazards or unfamiliar layouts are not something you want in an operating room where every movement is critical.
Since you’ve taken the time to do all of that research, you might as well do a bit more and finish up with the above information – your health can depend on it. There are a few places you can go to get more information and to check on accreditation. Again, you are highly encouraged to add this to your research…it’s important!
There are a few agencies that inspect and certify facilities and their websites should be added to your research checklist as make your decision.
- The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organization
- Institute for Medical Quality
- Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care
- American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities