Mr Morritt takes patient safety very seriously. He has introduced a number of changes in his practice to ensure that all patients having plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery under his care are treated in the safest possible way. Mr Morritt is currently the Clinical Audit Lead for Plastic surgery at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust where his role is to ensure that high standards of care and safety are maintained.
IMPROVING SAFETY BEFORE COSMETIC SURGERY
General fitness before having cosmetic surgery
Fit patients who have a normal body weight have fewer problems with general anaesthetics and surgery than those who are unfit and overweight and also tend to recover much more quickly following surgery. Mr Morritt recognises that some patients do not enjoy going to gyms or simply don’t have spare time in their busy lives. However, even simple lifestyle modifications such as increasing the amount of walking during the day do have beneficial effects on fitness and are highly recommended. In order to protect patients from unnecessary risks and improve safety, Mr Morritt does not generally perform cosmetic surgery on anyone who is clinically obese (Body Mass Index (BMI) > 30). To work out your BMI please enter your details in the following calculator:
Effect of pre-existing medical conditions and medications on safety of cosmetic or plastic surgery
Conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes increase potential complications from cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery and anaesthesia. Mr Morritt normally writes to your GP to ensure that your treatment for any pre-existing medical condition is optimised before undertaking surgery. It is useful to bring a list of your regular medications with you to your consultation with Mr Morritt.
It is essential to stop taking some tablets before surgery as they are known to increase the risks of bleeding following surgery:
- Over the counter medicines – stop 1 month before surgery
- Herbal remedies e.g. arnica – stop 1 month before surgery
- Non-steroidal tablets e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen or voltarol – stop 10 days before surgery and do not take following surgery
Smoking and effects on cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery
Mr Morritt asks all of his patients to stop smoking and all nicotine products e.g. patches for a minimum of 6 weeks before and after surgery in order to reduce the risk of potential complications. Read here for NHS advice on stopping smoking.
- All wounds need oxygen to heal but smoking reduces the amount of oxygen getting to wounds and can therefore cause wound healing problems such as delayed wound healing, infection and skin loss (necrosis)
Failing to stop smoking before some cosmetic surgery procedures such as tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) or breast reductions can have disastrous effects where large areas of tissue die (necrosis). This may require reconstructive plastic surgery and cause delayed wound healing with a poorer cosmetic result.
SAFETY DURING COSMETIC OR PLASTIC SURGERY
WHO Surgical Safety Checklist
Mr Morritt takes uses the World Health Organisation (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist routinely before undertaking any operation in the operating theatre. This checklist has been shown to improve patient safety during surgery by reducing deaths and complications. Mr Morritt was one of the first people in the UK to introduce the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist into his Practice and has published research in this area.
Mr Morritt only operates with Consultant anaesthetists who either work or who have worked within the NHS and are on the GMC specialist register for anaesthesia in order to maximise your safety under general anaesthesia during cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery. He most frequently works with Dr John Snape, Dr Stelios Michael and Dr Ian Shaw who are all senior experienced anaesthetists.
RECOVERY AFTER COSMETIC OR PLASTIC SURGERY
As a general rule Mr Morritt advises his patients to take things easy following surgery. This is particularly important in the first 2 weeks following cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery. The specific recommendations vary on an individual basis and according to the procedure. You will be looked after by experienced nursing staff and seen by Mr Morritt every day that you are in Hospital. After discharge, you will be seen regularly in the dressing clinic to make sure that you are making good progress and that the wounds are healing well. You will also have regular follow up appointments following the surgery with Mr Morritt.
Mr Morritt advises that patients do not take any painkiller tablets/herbal remedies etc after the surgery that have not been prescribed by his team as many tablets have potential side effects that may increase the risk of problems following surgery such as bleeding.