Consider This Scenario: After years of thought and research, you (or your spouse/significant other) have decided to have plastic surgery. You asked a few close friends about good surgeons in the area and chose the one you felt the most comfortable with. Very few people know about your surgery – most of them know you’re going to be out of work for a week or two, but you have been vague about the reasons. You don’t want the world to know about your private business.
Surgery is scheduled for 7:30 am at one of the local hospitals. You asked people about the hospital when you were making your surgical plans, and one of your neighbor’s friends knows someone who works there. They reassure you it’s a “good” hospital. The night before surgery you go online for some last minute research about your chosen procedure and review the information from your surgeon. Since you have to be at the hospital at 5:30 am, you pull up the map on your phone and figure it will take 35 minutes to arrive, which means you have to leave home at 4:55 am.
You’re equal parts excited and nervous about the following day. You can’t sleep well and get up after a very short night of sleep to leave for the hospital. Arriving the dark, the main entrance to the hospital is difficult to find – there are three or four to choose from, and none are very well marked. Entering the hospital, you don’t know where you are supposed to go to check in. You look around a mostly empty lobby until you find someone to direct you to the surgical check-in area, all the while looking at your watch. You don’t want to be late.
Then you remember your neighbor’s friend. What if the friend is working and runs into you? What if the friend sees what you’re having done? You compose yourself to find the check-in, arriving a few minutes late. There you have to fill out 20 minutes worth of paperwork before being taken to the pre-operative area, where you spend the majority of the next hour sitting around waiting, nervous and uncomfortable, before final preparations for surgery begin. After surgery you are wheeled through the hospital in a wheelchair and back to another busy entrance, where your ride home has been instructed to meet you. After again waiting outside (in public) you are helped into the car and are on your way home.
This is the experience many patients who undergo plastic surgery in a hospital or hospital-affiliated surgery center have. As you can see, there are many aspects of this experience that compound an already stressful situation and can make the surgery experience unpleasant. However, there is an alternative to this experience that patients of mine have.
What many people in Knoxville do not know is that the only dedicated outpatient plastic surgery center in East Tennessee sits 10 feet below my office off of Cedar Bluff Road. Built by Dr. Steven Smith in 2008, the Parkwest Plastic Surgery Center is the only fully-accredited, state-of-the-art surgery facility dedicated ONLY to plastic surgery in this area.
Having a private surgery center is a benefit to my patients for the following reasons:
» Privacy: Knoxville is a little big city. It’s tough to go somewhere without running into someone you know or without running into someone who knows you. I think it’s one of the things about living here that is wonderful – you rarely meet a stranger. However, when you are choosing to have plastic surgery, running into someone who knows you on the day of surgery can be anxiety producing, especially if, like most of my patients, you want to keep a low profile. At my office and in our surgery center below, the chance “run-ins” are unlikely. My patients who work in healthcare (or whose family members work in healthcare) find this particularly comforting.
» Convenience: On the day of surgery, patients are understandably nervous. By the time that the surgery date arrives, however, most patients have been to my office at least twice. They know where it is located. They know how long it takes to get there from home. They know where to go when they arrive. By being familiar with the surgery center and the office, there is a significant decrease in stress on the day of surgery. Also, from the parking lot, it’s only 20 feet before you are standing in the lobby. Contrast this to any other surgery center or hospital in the area: Circle the parking lot or the parking garage, looking for a place to park, and when you finally find one, you have to find your way from there to the front door, then from the door through the hospital to the surgery check-in desk. Not only is it time consuming, but it adds stress to an already stressful time.
» Safety: Nothing is more important than safety, especially when you are having surgery. Surgery is often compared to the aviation industry when it comes to safety checklists and the concept of the “team” approach to care. A coordinated team that works together every day is probably one of the most important factors in making the operating room a safe environment. At our surgery center, the team approach to surgery is something we practice every day. We have the same team – from anesthesia, to the operating room staff, to the preoperative and postoperative recovery staff – day in and day out. All they do is plastic surgery, every day. Everyone knows each other and what to expect both in and out of the operating room. This allows us to function as an efficient team instead of each of us putting our head down and having “tunnel vision,” where something important can be overlooked.
» Cost: We’ve all heard the news stories of hospitals charging $50 for an aspirin or handing someone a $10,000 bill for a two-hour ER visit. One of the biggest problems in medicine today is that the costs of everything are hidden until after you receive care. We do things very differently – you know exactly what things will cost before anything is done, including the charges for the operating room and anesthesia. In fact, we have these prices published on my website and encourage you to visit our site and see for yourself. There are lots of reasons that healthcare is expensive, but the main drivers of the rapidly increasing costs are the government and the insurance companies. With them out of the picture, our center can provide high-quality, state-of-the-art surgical care at a fraction of the cost of most hospitals.
» Luxury: What good is all this if the experience is lacking? Our surgery center is, modestly put, beautiful. It is a serene environment that is clean and inviting. You feel this from the moment you arrive through the front doors until you leave through a private exit after your procedure.
If you are considering plastic surgery or non-surgical cosmetic treatments, we would love to hear from you. You can visit my website at www.drjasonhall.com to see more photos of both our office and the only dedicated outpatient plastic surgery center in East Tennessee, to research procedures and treatments, and to search for pricing information.
Dr. Jason Hall is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who completed his surgical training in Texas, followed by a fellowship in facial surgery at Stanford. In 2015, he established his practice in his hometown of Knoxville after practicing in Houston, Texas, for five years. He is married with two daughters.
Knoxville Plastic & Craniofacial Surgery
Jason J. Hall, MD
9239 Park West Blvd, Suite 202
Knoxville, TN 37923