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Steven J. Pearlman, MD, FACS Dual Board Certified in Facial Plastic Surgery

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Patient safety first, office accreditation

We are preparing for office re-accreditation. One of the most important things we do to earn your trust is to participate in the quality assessment program of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). This is to assure you that our surgical suite complies with all national and regional regulations regarding patient safety. Accreditation means that surgery in our office is as safe and sterile as if it is to be performed in a hospital. An added twist this year is that as of July 2009, New York State requires accreditation for any facility where surgery is performed under sedation to be accredited.    We have been far ahead of that trend and long ago recognized the importance of this milestone on behalf of our patients. Our office and operating room is being inspected next week for our third consecutive three-year accreditation. Assuming we pass, of which there is little doubt, it officially recognizes us for delivering excellent health care services to our patients. AAAHC is one of three national organizations recognized to provide certification. The AAAHC only accredits facilities that are committed to providing high-quality medical care and services. It is our way of demonstrating our commitment to providing the best care possible.

I would like to publically thank my staff in advance, especially Christina McRoberts, R.N., for all their hard work in making this happen. You can’t imagine the stacks of papers and requirements necessary for our upcoming review. However, when it comes to our patients, assuring the utmost for their safety is most important.

Fast food facelifts

I have had a number of patients, friends and family of friends ask me about the Lifestyle lift. This is a company with very enticing advertising and superb before and after photos. I have a few problems with this approach. According to the Hippocratic oath, medicine is supposed to start with a doctor-patient relationship. Before embarking on an invasive surgical procedure it is important to know your doctor and his capabilities; yes this is invasive and major surgery no matter what people tell you. The lifestyle lift is a company based in Detroit that opened centers throughout the country where patients are directed from their advertising. They employ dozens of surgeons of varying skill and experience to perform a basic suture plication facelift.   



Consultations, as well as the follow-up, are performed by various individuals, it might be the doctor who will be doing your surgery or it might be a nurse or physicians assistant. Please ask yourself these questions before signing on:

Do you really know the credentials of the doctor who will actually be doing your surgery?

How many years have they been in practice?

Are the before and after photos in the advertisements from this doctor? Are there options or differences between this procedure and other facelifts? Where these options discussed?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the lifestyle lift?

What are the limitations of this lift as compared to other available procedures?

Do you really know and feel comfortable with the surgeon who will be doing your surgery? Like other areas of cosmetic surgery, cookie-cutter procedures do not always give the best results. A recent study by a very highly respected surgeon and teacher, Dr. Peter Adamson, as published in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, demonstrated a longer lasting result from the deep plane facelift over a SMAS plication facelift. Plus, the SMAS plication is actually a more highly accepted procedure than that done in the lifestyle lift by most facelift experts. What does this mean? A more comprehensive facelift technique will last longer than a simpler one. Which is best for you? That really depends on your anatomy and what needs to be lifted. So, to lump all patients into a very simple procedure under local anesthesia might sound enticing, but might not give you the most long lasting results.  

As for the procedure to be done under local anesthesia: sure, it sounds very nice not getting anesthesia other than local. General anesthesia (and deep sedation) has been around for many decades. As a matter of fact the incidence of serious complications from general anesthesia has gone down by more than 1000 times over the past 30 years. Anesthesia is one of the few specialties where malpractice rates have actually gone down. Yes, this is preferable for a more aggressive facelift, but then again you will get a result that will likely last for many more years.  So, in reality, you will likely be getting what you pay for; a simple procedure that is safe and performed under local anesthesia.

Would you rather have a longer lasting result from a doctor who you have researched and likely with more experience?



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