Avoiding and Managing Complications in Facial Plastic Surgery
21 June 2012 (online)
Undesirable outcomes from elective surgery are inherently less forgivable than those that result from surgery considered to be for medically necessary indications. Consequently, patients undergoing cosmetic surgery are less likely to be accepting of complications, which puts more responsibility on cosmetic surgeons. To compound this, facial complications show that you simply can't cover them up.
For this edition of Facial Plastic Surgery, I reflected back on my residency days and sought to duplicate what I found to be one of the most instructive meetings over the years: monthly M&M (morbidity and mortality) conference. We now call this conference by a more politically correct and appropriate name: “Quality Assurance.” The goal of this conference is not to assign blame to complications but to use them to foster education and improve patient outcome. Examining how and why complications occur is extremely educational, not only in understanding how a particular patient's clinical course evolved but as a means to developing guidelines to avoid or reduce future complications.
My objective for this edition of Facial Plastic Surgery is to use that same format for promoting enhanced quality in facial plastic surgery.
I would like to personally thank all the authors for their astute and honest assessment of complications in facial plastic surgery. It's easy to criticize but harder to dissect complications and create a useful educational experience. These talented individuals have been generous with their time and expertise and admirably performed their assigned tasks, which I feel will promote superior quality in facial plastic surgery.