Office Surgery: Guidelines

New York, NY (December 1, 2000) — According to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) statistics, 53% of cosmetic procedures are performed in office-based surgical facilities. Published data have shown that accredited office-based facilities have a safety record comparable to that of hospital ambulatory surgery settings. However, the alarming fact is that most office-based surgical facilities are unaccredited. ASAPS encourages prospective patients to make sure their office-based cosmetic surgery meets the following requirements:

  • The operating surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
  • The office-based surgical facility is accredited by a nationally or state recognized accrediting agency, or is state licensed or Medicare certified. Nationally recognized accrediting agencies include the American Society for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).
  • The surgeon has privileges at an accredited acute care hospital for the specific procedure being performed.
  • Patients undergoing procedures that involve sedation are appropriately
    monitored by registered nursing personnel. If general anesthesia is used, it is administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist or certified registered nurse anesthetist.
  • The emergency equipment and anesthesia monitoring devices in the surgical facilities are equivalent to those that would be necessary for the same surgical procedure performed in a hospital or freestanding ambulatory surgery center.
  • Provisions are made for hospital admission in the event of unforeseen complications.
  • There is a separate recovery area with monitoring equipment equivalent to that which would be necessary for the same procedure performed in a hospital or ambulatory surgery facility.
  • Until the patient is fully recovered, a physician is at the site, in addition to a registered nurse.
  • Discharge from the facility is always determined by the responsible surgeon.

Ensuring patient safety is key to ASAPS’ mission. It is the Society’s position, backed by published data, that when the above guidelines are followed, office-based surgery is a safe, convenient and cost-effective option for properly selected patients.


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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