1. The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery, (888) 545-5222, (847) 949-6058, http://www.AAAASF.org
2. The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, (847) 853-6060, http://www.aaahc.org
3. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, (630) 792-5005, http://www.jcaho.org
Ask whether your surgeon uses a nurse-anesthetist or a board-certified anesthesiologist."An anesthesiologist is a fully trained professional who is dedicated to that patient and doesn't have to be supervised," But in many states, nurse-anesthetists do require supervision, and often times your plastic surgeon will be the one doing the supervising.
That's not to say nurse-anesthetists aren't competent, but it does mean you should ask additional questions — like what the anesthetist's experience is with outpatient aesthetic surgery. If your physician uses nurse-anesthetists and you prefer a board-certified anesthesiologist, ask if it's possible to have one.
If you are going to have general anesthesia, be sure your anesthesiologist is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology, (919) 881-2570. If your surgeon uses a nurse anesthetist, check with the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, (847) 692-7050.
Complications from anesthesia are far more likely to harm a patient than the surgery itself, as was the case with The First Wives Club author Olivia Goldsmith, who died from anesthesia complications at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital.
Hiring a surgeon to perform a tummy tuck isn't like haggling for a car; for the most part, prices aren't negotiable. But that doesn't mean you can't get a discount. Physicians want their operating schedules full, and they often pay for surgical facilities whether they're operating on three patients per day or six.Indeed, Kotler and Bolton say they have offered discounted rates of 10 to 15 percent off for patients who are willing to have their surgery on "standby" and be available on short notice if a surgical slot opens up. Another opportunity to save: the "Friends and Family" discount, when mother/daughter duos or friends schedule procedures for the same day.
Not all plastic surgeons are willing to offer such discounts, but most will reduce their fees when multiple procedures are done at the same time, such as a full facial rejuvenation comprising several separate surgeries. Since this also reduces the facility and anesthesia fees that would be spent on multiple visits, the overall savings can be as much as 35%. "Patients should ask, 'Can I work something out where I can save some money?'" Kotler says. "It's not demeaning or unprofessional."