For patients in Denver, plastic surgery satisfaction rates can be hard to measure. Although some specific types of cosmetic procedures, like breast reduction, have advanced surveys for determining patient satisfaction rates, many others lack valid data. Improved survey instruments and methodologies could lead to improved outcomes.
Currently, several questionnaires are in use for measuring outcomes of breast reduction as reported by the patients themselves. Two of these, the Breast Reduction Assessed Severity Scale Questionnaire (BRASSQ) and the BREAST-Q reduction module, offer a psychometric approach to the results of this procedure. The questionnaires address many complex issues which may have an impact on the patient’s assessment of their surgery, such as postoperative scarring. In fact, these tools are comprehensive enough to be considered the current industry ideal for determining the overall satisfaction rate of a cosmetic procedure.
Analysis indicates that patient-reported outcomes should be recorded via condition-specific or procedure-specific questionnaires similar to the BRASSQ or BREAST-Q. Developing these types of tools for a wider range of procedures will more accurately measure postoperative patient satisfaction rates. In order to be effective, questionnaires must ask procedure-specific details to deliver a more comprehensive report. The questions asked must deliver valid and reliable results, while still addressing the multiple areas of a patient’s life that may be affected by such a procedure: physical, mental and emotional.
There are some existing questionnaires in the field already for other procedures: the Freiburg Questionnaire on Aesthetic Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery (FQAD) for liposuction, and the Derriford Appearance Scale, DAS-59/24 for general plastic surgery. However, these surveys currently have a limited content range that renders them less than optimal for presenting a clear picture of patient satisfaction. Again, without taking into consideration the multifaceted and subjective nature of patient satisfaction, a true rating cannot be determined.
Benefits of Accurate Measurement
By creating more comprehensive tools for determining accurate rates of quality of life and patient satisfaction, the plastic surgery field will be advanced even further. Without these aids, it’s hard for the field as a whole to adjust their methods and better meet the needs of their patients. Evaluating results based on the patients’ interpretation of outcomes offers a much-needed personal perspective to surgeons and clinical staff in order to help improve patient care.
Patient satisfaction is the single most important quality to ensuring the continued viability of private cosmetic surgery practices. If a patient is confident in their surgeon’s abilities, they will recommend those services to their friends or return themselves for additional procedures. And, understanding which aspects of care the patient is most concerned about will help surgeons and staff adapt their methods accordingly, changing their focus as needed in order to better appeal to their client base.
The field of cosmetic surgery is seeing growth in all areas, ranging from minimally invasive procedures such as body sculpting, all the way up to more involved surgeries like tummy tucks. The way a patient feels following their surgery about their appearance and quality of life will go a long way to affecting the way plastic surgeons do business both in and out of the operating room.