Our Surgery Center

surgery-center02-300x200When you choose Criswell & Criswell Plastic Surgery, you are not only choosing your surgeon and practice, but you are also choosing a safe, new, state of the art surgery center. Our surgery center in Charlotte NC has a spacious operating room, a two phase recovery center (PACU), a pre-operative holding area, a waiting room, and a private entrance. Dr. Kara Criswell and Dr. Bryan Criswell maintain privileges at hospitals all over the greater Charlotte area, but perform most of their breast surgery in our fully accredited surgery center. This safe, comfortable and private center helps us provide care to our patients who frequently come from Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Florida. Our patients trust our surgeons and our Surgery Center, knowing that we make it possible to give great care to our patients from this region and from all over the entire United States. All of our clinical staff are ACLS (advanced cardiac life support) certified and every one of our staff members is BCLS (basic cardiac life support) trained. At Criswell & Criswell, your safety is our priority, and we pride ourselves on consistently providing the highest quality of care.

What does being accredited mean?

These days, there is more to having surgery than just selecting your surgeon. AAAASF has designed an accrediting program to help provide patients with the assurance of safety and quality in all aspects of their outpatient surgery experience. To achieve this goal, every AAAASF-accredited ambulatory surgery facility must meet stringent national standards for equipment, operating room safety, personnel and surgeon credentials. The experts at AAAASF know that maintaining safety and quality in the ambulatory surgery facility is a dynamic process, requiring constant review and revision of standards to reflect the current state-of-the-art. As the leading accrediting organization, AAAASF has developed the systems to effectively monitor and implement the latest advances in outpatient care delivery advances that directly benefit patients.

What about quality?

AAAASF accreditation has been recognized as the Gold Standard. The vast majority of ambulatory surgery facilities are not accredited, operating independently of any peer review and inspection process. A growing number of states throughout the country, however, are recognizing the need for mandatory accreditation. AAAASF is in the forefront of legislative efforts to provide patients with safety and quality assurance in the outpatient surgery setting.

AAAASF accreditation has been accepted by State Departments of Health in lieu of state licensure, and AAAASF has been approved to inspect facilities for certification by Medicare. AAAASF accreditation guidelines have been recognized as the gold standard, providing the highest level of safety and quality in ambulatory surgery care.

Are accredited facilities safer?

In a word, yes. AAAASF-accredited facilities must meet stringent requirements. For our AAAASF accredited facility we must:

  • Comply with applicable local, state, and federal regulations including licensure, fire safety, sanitation and building codes for the protection of patients and medical personnel;
  • Adhere to federal laws and regulations affecting their operation such as OSHA blood-borne pathogens standards, hazardous waste standards, the Americans with Disabilities Act and HIPPA;
  • Utilize advanced instruments and monitoring devices for patient safety during surgery and in the recovery period;
  • All individuals using the facility must be an MD, certified by one of the member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (the American Board of Plastic Surgery)
  • Provide for the administration of general anesthesia, when appropriate, by a board certified anesthesiologist or a certified registered nurse anesthetist.
  • Provide personnel assisting in surgery and providing care for the patient in the recovery room include specially-trained and certified surgical technicians, registered nurses, and licensed practical nurses.


What else do I need to know as a patient?

surgery-center03-300x200Modern surgery and anesthesia have reached new heights in safety and new, less invasive procedures have been developed. However, economic pressures have created a trend in outpatient surgery in which all types of physicians are doing surgery in their offices. Many of these physicians are performing procedures learned during a weekend course and in many cases, are far afield from their training or not in their field of specialty. Another concern is the use of oral or intravenous sedating drugs on patients undergoing these procedures in non-accredited facilities. AAAASF accreditation assures proper credentials and strict requirements for safeguards prevent this scenario from happening!

The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF) was established in 1980. Its primary mission is to ensure the highest quality patient care in the ambulatory surgery setting.

AAAASF is unique among accrediting agencies in protecting patients in an office-based surgery (OBS) setting:

  • Requires surgeons to have hospital privileges for any procedure that is performed.
  • Requires the use of Anesthesia professionals for deeper levels of anesthesia.
  • Requires safe surgical environment, equipment, drugs, etc. through specific standards.
  • Holds OBS to Hospital standards.
  • Requires peer review (peer oversight) and tracks data (complications, mortalities, etc. with extensive data covering over 2 million procedures).

For more information about AAAASF please visit http://www.aaaasf.org