When all is said and done, I have one objective far more important than any – SAFETY.
There are no priorities or paradigms that are as critical as the incredible trust that patients have placed on us day in and day out. Think about it. A mother of 3. Beautiful and vibrant. Healthy. She comes in for a five-hour Mommy Makeover procedure. She is basically handing her life to me and my team and is asking us to do what we do best. She is trusting us with HER LIFE. That is one powerful bond. Every day, for the past 22 years, I have been humbled by that trust. And, every day, I deliver the best that I can – the best that is possible.
The relentless pursuit of safety is never-ending, and it all starts with the internal culture of a medical practice. This culture imbues hard work and essential attention to detail on every facet of the operative experience. I have always candidly told patients that “we are not a budget operation.” I never ever say that out of arrogance. I say it unapologetically with a nod to the details that go into every aspect of care – as it relates to safety.
The story of safety starts with the education and training of myself and the staff. As a dual board certified surgeon (re-certified three times now for both plastic surgery and general surgery), I am taught how to deal with complex issues. Our training culminates years and years of repetitive and stringent exposure to a breadth of surgical issues. That training never stops and will not stop until the day I retire. The Continuing Medical Education program that my staff and I engage in sharpens our skills, teaches us new things, and makes us ever ready for whatever comes our way.
The facility that we operate out of is no different than a major medical institution. From equipment to staffing, the physical plant we mean business. Our facility is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF) and the Washington State Department of Health. Such rigorous accreditation is viewed with all the care and attention in the world by some extraordinary nurses, managers, and me.
Our pre-operative teaching program and our pre-op booklets are a mark of distinction of safety. We do not allow one piece of information to go by the wayside. Our informed consent series that describes the operations’ limitations and risks is clear, transparent, and real. We all believe that an informed patient is the best patient.
One of the many points of pride in this practice is our anesthesia group. For more than two decades, we have done tens of thousands of procedures with an impeccable record. This group of board certified and highly attentive physicians are simply the best in the business. Their training and their understanding of complex outpatient operations make the circle of safety a complete one.
Covid-19 and the dramatic events of the past few months have tested our safety protocols. We have been vigilant in following National and local guidelines to ensure that every person who walks in this office – patient, staff, and vendors – is free of symptoms. Our global testing of patients assures that we have done all that can be done to ensure the lowest possible exposure. As this is so fluid and so dynamic, we continue to educate ourselves to the best of our ability to provide a completely safe facility.
For more than two decades, I, along with my staff, have given our best to deliver results that have been recognized locally, nationally, and globally. We are admirers of beauty. But nothing is more important to my staff and me as safety.