Joan Rivers Death and Elective Surgery
We see over a hundred patients a week in our plastic surgery consultation rooms and Joan Rivers has always been a topic of conversation, either good or bad. Some want to avoid the Joan Rivers look while others wouldn’t mind looking as good as she did at her age. Nonetheless, her recent death has raised many questions in our exam room about what she was having done and what happened.
We won’t know for some months what actually transpired but the reality, and we all concur, that she was having elective surgery. As a plastic surgeon, almost everything we do is elective. So, the question is, how do you keep yourself safe when considering elective surgery?
1. It starts with your doctor. The plastic surgeon you choose will be your advocate outside and inside the operating room. He is the person you have to trust to do your surgery but also trust to choose the appropriate facility and anesthesiologist to do your surgery.
2. Make sure your doctor is board certified. Everybody has heard this but it is still surprising how many people don’t ask or don’t know if their doctor is or isn’t board certified. Ask him or her if they perform your procedure commonly. How often? What complications can occur?
3. Make sure there’s an anesthesiologist in the room. A reputable plastic surgeon will generally use a reputable anesthesia group or anesthesiologist. Many anesthesiologists have anesthetists, or nursing professionals, assist them; however, many times you’ll find anesthetists performing anesthesia by themselves because it’s less cost.
4. Have your surgery at an accredited facility where your surgeon operates frequently. If you have an insurance component to your elective procedure, make sure the insurance company isn’t forcing you or your surgeon into going to a facility he or she doesn’t normally operate at. If they are, it may be in your best interest to pay out of pocket for your surgeon to go to a facility that he’s familiar with and comfortable at so he can be a strong advocate for you when you’re asleep.
Though anything can happen at anytime, the above tips can help you stay safe. Although people will really question elective surgery after Joan Rivers death, remember people have elective surgery every day across the country and do great.
Dr. Mike Majmundar is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon and founder of Northside Plastic Surgery. For more about him or our services, visit www.northsideplasticsurgery.com