Massage therapists are increasingly working with cosmetic surgeons to assist patient healing post-surgery. (See MASSAGE Magazine, “A Beautiful Partnership: Plastic Surgeons Enlist Massage Therapists onto Cosmetic Surgery Teams,” November 2007). Study results released July 16 show that office-based cosmetic surgery is as safe as such surgery performed in hospitals.

Nearly 11.8 million cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in 2007, up 59 percent since 2000, according to ASPS statistics. Fifty-nine percent of cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in an office-based facility, 21 percent in a free-standing ambulatory surgical facility, and 20 percent in a hospital.

The study published in July’s Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® (PRS), the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), reviewed more than 1.1 million procedures and found the mortality rate to be significantly less than one percent or 0.002 percent.

“The study shows that plastic surgery in accredited facilities is safe and deaths are rare,” said ASPS Member Surgeon Geoffrey Keyes, M.D., study co-author. “However, people should consider plastic surgery with the same seriousness as medically necessary surgery. Most importantly, patients should have their procedure performed by an ASPS Member Surgeon in an accredited facility.”

The study reviewed data collected from January 2001 through June 2006 by The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), which mandates biannual reporting of all complications and fatalities. The data was obtained from facilities accredited by the AAAASF, which requires that surgeons be board-certified and have credentials at a hospital to perform any procedure being contemplated at an office-based facility. The ASPS requires all of its Member Surgeons to operate only in accredited or licensed facilities.