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Plastic Surgery Complications and Deaths are Rare, Despite Highly Publicized Death of Donda West
Date:11/13/2007

"It's one thing to have training, but it's another to have your competency tested. This is why board-certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is so crucial," said Dr. D'Amico. "As a patient, you should ask yourself, 'Why wouldn't this surgeon be board-certified in plastic surgery?'"

All ABPS-certified physicians have:

-- Graduated from an accredited medical school;

-- Completed at least five years of surgical residency training, usually three years of general surgery and two years of plastic surgery;

-- Practiced plastic surgery for two years; and

-- Passed comprehensive written and oral examinations covering both the cosmetic and reconstructive areas of the specialty of plastic surgery.

At the highest level of care, every surgery has risks as well as benefits. The ASPS recognizes the physician-patient relationship is one of shared decision-making. This decision-making process is called informed consent. The ASPS "Statement of Principle on Informed Consent" details the information that should be discussed and understood by the patient, including: details of the surgery, benefits, possible consequences and side effects of the operation, potential risks and adverse outcomes as well as their probability and severity; alternatives to the procedure being considered and their benefits, risks and consequences; and the anticipated outcome.

A 2004 study published in the official medical journal of the ASPS, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, found that deaths occurring at office-based surgery facilities are rare--less than 1/4 percent. More than 400,000 operative procedures in accredited office-based outpatient surgery centers were studied from 2000-2002. Serious complications were infrequent, occurring 1 in 298 cases or 0.34 percent with death occurring 1 in 51,459 cases or 0.0019 percent, which is comparable to the overall risk of such procedures performed in hospital surgery facilities.

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SOURCE American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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