Just how clean is your hospital? An unpublished study by the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that more hospitals may be unsanitary than people presently realize. The study surveyed more than 2500 hospitals nationwide for various cleanliness factors, many of which were not up to proper sanitation standards. In addition to the study, the national consumer watchdog group Public Citizen has also cited several different hospitals for sterilization violations in the past 12 months. The study suggests that over 20% of hospitals in use for plastic surgery may pose serious health risks in terms of the concentrations of bacteria. There may also be other various potential threats to patients who are considering cosmetic surgery on their body.
According to an anonymous board certified plastic surgeon we contacted, "Patients are advised to do their homework. They should check into their plastic surgeon's background and the hospital's consumer cleanliness ratings. There are a number of facilities that have awards for their sanity efforts in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, another in Dallas at http://drjdallasplasticsurgeon.com, and
some of the best are in New York City obviously. There's no need to risk potential complications that can be potentially fatal or otherwise quite serious when you go to a facility that you can trust."
There are also indications that many hospitals are still using older equipment, which is not up to modern day standards of practice. The surgeon continues to say, "The field of plastic surgery is evolving so quickly that even five year old equipment is potentially dangerous. The danger is that older techniques can be a lot more invasive and hence, offer more risk to the patient."
Another surgeon who also wished to remain anonymous was quick to point out that the study was, "A bit overblown and perhaps designed for 'shock value'. I believe the vast majority of hospitals are more than adequately sterilized today."
Whatever the case may be, if you are considering plastic surgery, patients are advised to evaluate the hospital facilities for cleanliness as a precautionary measure. Most experts agree that a neat and clean surrounding as well as rigorous sterilizing procedures can help indicate a safe and clean environment.