If you’re in the market for a plastic surgeon, look for one that has their own operating room in their office. I know this sounds self-serving since I am a plastic surgeon with their own operating room, but hear me out!
As with any company, it’s natural to assume the president or CEO has their own “executive team” to help carry out the daily functions and strategic vision of the company. A surgeon should be no different in the operating room. Why would you go to a plastic surgeon that performs their operations at a hospital with a nurse or scrub tech with whom they’ve never worked before. The OR staff doesn’t know what instruments the surgeon prefers and the surgeon doesn’t know if the nurse or assistant is familiar with the operation he/she is performing. This kind of discomfort between the surgeon and the OR team can lead to inefficiencies or even poor outcomes. There’s a study that shows when the surgeon has the same team for each operation, the patient benefits.
To paraphrase, the study above followed 203 cardiac surgeons over a two-year period to see if they got better the more procedures they did. They collected data on morbidity (complications) and mortality (death) associated with heart bypass surgery. What they found was that the surgeons didn’t get better with practice. Rather, they had better outcomes depending on the hospital or operating room they were using most frequently. In essence, even though they had the same skill set everywhere they went, it wasn’t utilized to its fullest with the best results unless they were in an operating room that they were most familiar with. Familiar with a particular anesthesiologist or set of nurses. The best outcomes were associated with the relationships that the surgeon developed with the team surrounding him/her.
But it’s not just familiarity that’s important. As the owner of my own AAAASF-accredited operating room, I have to ensure that our operating room meets certain standards. Not only that, I have to meet every 6 months with other surgeons to discuss our surgical cases and consider ways of improving patient care and the workflow of the operating room.
Seeing a surgeon with their own operating room isn’t just more convenient for the patient, it can provide for a more efficient experience as well.