A recent study from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons affirms that outpatient plastic surgery procedures are safe.
The study, published in the April issue of the organization's journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, analyzed more than 20 years of information collected from 26,000 plastic surgery procedures.
The data, collected between 1995 and 2017, came from procedures performed at the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute.
The DPSI is an accredited outpatient surgical facility in Dallas, Texas.
The majority of the procedures were breast procedures, including breast implant augmentations. Liposuction treatments were also analyzed during the study.
Facial procedures were also included in the study. Facial surgeries reviewed by the study authors included the rhytidectomy (face-lift), rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) and blepharoplasty (eyelid-lift) surgeries.
The study authors assessed the safety of these surgeries in the outpatient environment by identifying what, if any, complications occurred and how frequently they happened in the first 48 hours after surgery.
They included in their analysis any potential risk factors that could cause complications to develop, such as underlying or undiagnosed health conditions, smoking, alcohol consumption and if the patient was overweight.
The results of their analysis found that complications developed in less than 1 percent (250) of the 26,000 patients reviewed. Two hundred and three patients needed a second surgery because of their complications.
More than 80 percent of those individuals who required additional surgery to address complications were because of blood pooling under their skin, a condition known as a hematoma.
Additional complications included the development of blood clots in .05 percent and infections in .06 percent of patients with complications.
During their research, the study authors also found that individuals who had a higher body mass index (BMI) or those who were obese needed monitoring after their procedures in a surgical center or hospital.
Monitoring patients with high BMIs was especially beneficial for individuals who had surgery that lasted more than four hours or had combined procedures. It also benefited those individuals who had large amounts of fat removed via liposuction.
The study has some large-scale benefits; first, it proves the safety of outpatient procedures, and second, it alerts surgeons to cases that may need additional care and monitoring because of risk factors.
The study also gives evidence-based guidance for plastic surgeons regarding patient safety at outpatient facilities. The analysis also provides plastic surgeons with more insight in managing patients with risk factors that may lead to post-surgical complications.
"Better understanding of individual needs of patients only means improved post-surgical care and protection of patient health," said Dr. Mona Alqulali, a Bettendorf, Iowa, cosmetic surgeon and OB-GYN.
Alqulali, who performs cosmetic facial and body procedures, stresses the importance of patients disclosing their medical history.
"It is important to communicate health history and any underlying health conditions," Alqulali said.
Before cosmetic surgery, patients should have a complete physical to make sure there are no undiagnosed health conditions that could cause complications.
Alqulali stresses that it is also important that patients quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption for at least two to three weeks before and after their procedures.
"Smoking before or after cosmetic surgery can cause complications because it delays healing by slowing blood and oxygen flow to the wound site. Patients should consider quitting smoking before undergoing any surgery," Alqulali said.
ASPS. Study Supports Safety of Outpatient Plastic Surgery Procedures. 29 March 2018.