Patient Safety: What patients might not be telling you

Posted: February 15, 2013

Filling out the forms at a doctor’s office may not seem glamorous or even important unless you have a serious illness, but when it comes to surgery, it could make all the difference. Plastic surgery is no different than any other surgery – it involves anesthesia, surgical tools and comes with its own set of risks. Educating patients on the dangers might make the difference between a life-threatening complication and a successful surgical outcome.

Here are some common topics to address:
1) Medication and supplements – while most patients will be quick to let you know they’re taking prescription medication (we hope) for a serious condition, others might not disclose over-the-counter medication and herbal supplements. They might not realize that it could affect blood pressure, hematoma and healing.

2) Smoking and drinking – we have made great strides in the fight against smoking and alcohol abuse. Most people know they shouldn’t smoke or drink before surgery and right after. However, they might know the severity of the actions, they might think twice.

3) Psychological concerns – wanting to have plastic surgery to improve your image and to feel better about something that always made you feel self-conscious is normal. Having plastic surgery to please others or to get out of depression is not. Talk to patients about deeper issues and get them the help they might not realize they need.

Additional Information:
Cosmetic surgery safety: Lifestyle factors play an important role
http://www.surgery.org/media/news-releases/cosmetic-surgery-safety–lifestyle-factors-play-an-important-role

Office-based surgical setting patient safety
http://www.surgery.org/professionals/patient-safety/office-based-surgical-setting-patient-safety-issues-scenarios

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