Hospital vs. Clinic: Where Should You Get Your Plastic Surgery?
- 03 April 2017
- Dr. Mark Broudo
Initial consultation? Check.
Before and after photos? Check.
Certified and experienced plastic surgeon? Check.
Location of the procedure? Uh-oh.
Many patients don’t take into account where their cosmetic surgery will be performed, thinking that it is already under the plastic surgeon’s discretion. But the truth is, you have a say on where you want the operation to take place.
You may request your plastic surgeon to do the procedure either in his outpatient plastic surgery clinic or an affiliated hospital. The final decision will still be up to him, but you can let your voice be heard.
To guide you in choosing a hospital or a clinic, here are the differences between the two.
Why Choose a Plastic Surgery Clinic?
Plastic surgery clinics are focused on the care of outpatients – a patient who does not stay overnight in the treatment facility. Because many cosmetic surgeries – like eyelid surgery and breast lift – can be done on an outpatient basis, plastic surgery clinics are popular among patients.
Clinics can either be public or private. In the case of plastic surgery clinics, most of them are privately owned, managed, and funded, as plastic surgeons set up their practices.
Some clinics are fully owned by one plastic surgeon, but there are also ones being run by several practicing plastic surgeons. An example of this is Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery, which boasts of two board-certified and experienced plastic surgeons – Dr. Nick Masri and Dr. Mark Broudo.
There are also clinic chains that have several branches within a state or country. Again, Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery is a good example of this, as it has offices in Miami and Hollywood.
Unlike hospitals, clinics are not divided into departments. Hence, a single clinic will only cater to one specialization, like fertility clinics, sexual health clinics, and general outpatient clinics. A plastic surgery clinic can also be called an ambulatory surgery clinic since minimally invasive outpatient procedures are done here.
Plastic surgery clinics are only open during office hours, so consultations with plastic surgeons should be scheduled within this time. If there are a lot of patients, you might need to line up and wait for your turn.
If you opt to have your procedure done in a clinic, take note that it will not have separate rooms for patients. You might only be separated by a curtain from another patient who just had her procedure. If this makes you uncomfortable, then you might want to consider getting your surgery in a hospital.
Why Choose an Accredited Hospital?
On the other hand, hospitals are healthcare institutions that offer a wide variety of diagnostic, curative, and rehabilitative services. They are larger than clinics and have an organized medical, nursing, and other healthcare professional staff.
Like clinics, hospitals can either be public or private. General hospitals are available in major cities and are the most common type of hospital. They have several departments ready to cater to various specializations, so you can consult a physician there regardless of whether you’re having a cardiac or gastrointestinal problem.
They also have enough facilities to attend to your needs. For instance, if you need a complete blood count, you can go to the laboratory department and have it done. If you need an x-ray before your plastic surgery, you can also get it from the hospital. A hospital can also house clinics, where you can have a consultation with your physician.
But there are also specialized hospitals that offer specialized treatments, like children’s hospitals, trauma centers, psychiatric hospitals, heart centers, and rehabilitation hospitals. There are also teaching hospitals connected with medical schools or universities that offer medical education and training to medical students and student nurses.
Hospitals can cater both to outpatients and inpatients. Plastic surgeries – like body lifts and breast reconstructions – need to be done on an inpatient basis so that patients can recover under the supervision of hospital staff.
Hospitals are open 24/7, so you can make sure that your needs will be attended to during your hospitalization by capable and licensed medical and nursing staff. Still, outpatient consultations can only be done within a specified period.
Treatments done in a hospital might be more expensive than the ones performed in a clinic because of the staff and facilities involved.
Should You Select a Clinic or a Hospital?
Choosing between a clinic and a hospital depends on your overall state of health and the kind of plastic surgery you’re getting.
Some invasive cosmetic procedures are better done under a hospital setting, where you have access to competent medical staff, better facilities, and emergency services in case something goes wrong. Examples of these procedures include abdominal wall reconstruction, upper body lift, lower body lift, full body lift, bariatric surgery, and breast reconstruction.
The tummy tuck, which is commonly done on an outpatient basis, might also need to be performed in the hospital if the patient has too many complicating issues, such as concomitant diseases and excess weight.
Surgeries requiring general anesthesia may also be better performed in an accredited hospital. Adverse anesthesia reactions due to general anesthesia are rather common complications of plastic surgery that need to be addressed immediately.
On the other hand, procedures as simple as Botox, arm lift, and breast augmentation may be done inside a registered plastic surgery clinic or treatment center, as patients often need to stay in the facility for only a few hours. They can continue their recovery at home.
Keep in mind that not all plastic surgeons have hospital privileges. This is okay if you are only going to undergo minor plastic surgeries, but not when invasive major cosmetic surgeries are on the line. Hence, it is best to choose a plastic surgeon who also has access to accredited hospitals so that you can choose where your surgery will be performed.
Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery’s experienced and board-certified plastic surgeons have hospital privileges to some of Miami’s reputable hospitals. Schedule a Free Consultation with one of them if you are contemplating on getting plastic surgery.