This is Why Surgery Center Accreditation Matters

Updated on: April 1, 2019

Surgery center accreditation is important for your safety and the quality of your breast augmentation. Accredited surgery centers are strictly verified by private organizations to have the right equipment, safety standards and trained medical staff ready for your care.

Why surgery center accreditation is important

Your safety is always the most important thing when it comes to breast augmentation.

You’ve probably spent a lot of time choosing the right plastic surgeon, but don’t overlook where you’re having your surgery.

Your surgeon may perform your breast augmentation in a hospital setting or outpatient surgery center (also known as an ambulatory care facility or ambulatory surgery center).

Board certified plastic surgeons working in accredited surgery centers have very low rates of serious complications (>0.5%) and mortality rates (>0.000017%).

After your breast augmentation surgery you’ll spend a few days or so in a post-treatment facility.

Accredited post-treatment facilities have all the necessary equipment and trained staff to monitor your condition and care for you while you recuperate. This is especially important in case a complication or life-threatening emergency comes up.

The quality of your surgery center reflects on the quality of your plastic surgeon. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) requires its members to use accredited facilities that meet the highest standards of safety and quality.

The standards for surgery center accreditation

The accreditation process looks for key areas of safety and quality. Accreditation is voluntary and involves a self-administered assessment and an onsite review by the accrediting organization.

Each accrediting organization has slightly different rules, but they all generally require:

  • Your surgery to be performed by an ABMS board-certified plastic surgeon
  • Anesthesia to be delivered by a board-certified anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist
  • Staff that are trained in advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS)
  • Advanced patient monitoring during surgery and recovery
  • The building to adhere to all local and state regulations on sanitation, fire and building codes
  • Staff to adhere to all occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) regulations

Accrediting organizations regularly inspect facilities to ensure that these rules are adhered to.

What is the AAAHC, the JCAHO and the AAAASF?

Surgery centers and post-op facilities are accredited by private organizations that maintain strict standards for patient safety and care.

The three main accrediting organizations for surgery centers are:

  • Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC)
  • Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO)
  • The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF)

Medicare also certifies ambulatory surgery centers.

States can also license surgery centers. These standards vary by state.

How do I check accreditation before my plastic surgery procedure?

The easiest way to check the accreditation status of your surgical center and post-op facility is to simply ask your plastic surgeon.

During your consultation your surgeon will discuss with you where your surgery will take place and where you’ll be taken for your post-op recovery. This is a great time to ask about facility accreditation.

Accreditation info can also be confirmed by visiting your plastic surgeon’s website and/or the website of the surgical facility (if there is one).

You can also check the websites of each accrediting organization, or call them directly:

  • AAHC — (847) 853-6060
  • JCAHO — (630) 792-5800
  • AAAASF — (888) 545-5222
Updated June, 2018
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