What is Plastic Surgery Drug Testing?

Human Body Anatomy Graphic

Plastic surgeon offices are medical facilities that cater to patients who opt for elective operations that enhance or alter part of their body or face. It also involves a special type of surgery that involves a patient’s ability to function. Surgical procedures done in plastic surgeon offices involve the use of anesthetics for patients and it is imperative that a patient scheduled for a procedure is “clean” as illicit drugs, alcohol and nicotine do not mix with anesthetics drugs. Is drug testing necessary?

Why Do Drug Testing?

A plastic surgeon office is essentially a medical facility. People who go there seek medical treatment in a sense. Procedures done in a plastic surgeon office entails the use of anesthetic drugs and to ensure glitch-free procedure, the patient’s system must be free from any residue to illicit drugs, alcohol and nicotine.

Drug use among doctors is real, and so is among the staff in plastic surgeon offices. Access to prescription drugs such as painkillers and sedatives is easy and dipping into the prescribed medications of patients is not hard to do. There is a growing controversy on whether to subject healthcare professionals to pre employment drug testing and background check. After all, an employer has the right to reject impaired nurses and physicians on the staff. A more controversial notion is random drug testing for healthcare professionals but this action is a necessary precaution in circumstances and areas where prescription drugs are easily obtained and abused.

Statistics on Drug Use of Health Care and Social Assistance Industry

The most recent statistics provided by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) indicate that 6% of employees in the HCSA industry have used illicit drug in the past month and of this percentage, 1.7% are abusers. More than 4% in this industry drink alcohol excessively and of this percentage, about 5.6% are alcohol abusers1. These figures may be the lowest among all the industries but there is still a need for pre-employment drug testing, random drug testing and periodic drug testing in plastic surgeon offices.

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Types of Drug Test to Do

Before a plastic surgery procedure is done, the doctor has to make sure that the patient has not been smoking, drinking and taking any form of illicit or prescription drug as these may have contraindications with the anesthesia drug to be used. These substances will also affect the efficacy of painkillers and antibiotics as well as delay the process of healing.

To avoid possible complications when doing drug tests, a health care provider should explain the clinic’s policy about drug testing. The patient should know during consultation that drug testing is necessary before a surgical procedure is done. It would be easier to just ask the patient his history but in most cases, illicit substance users and abusers do not tell the truth about their intake.

A urine test a day before the procedure should be done to indicate drugs (if any) are in his system. Recommended is a 10-drug instant drug testing cup. This test will show the presence of opiates, marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine, methadone, barbiturates, benzodiazepines and tricyclic anti-depressants. The result of an instant urine screening test is 99% accurate and available after a few minutes.

A nicotine test kit will usually detect nicotine metabolite four days after smoking. It is important that the patient’s system is free from nicotine as smoking slows down the process of healing.

A saliva drug test kit will detect up to six drugs accurately. This method is quick and easy. It is the best option to detect current drug use as alcohol and drug residues do not remain in the saliva for days. This drug test kit may also be used for alcohol testing.

For pre-employment drug testing, urine, saliva or hair drug testing may be done. Hair drug testing will show a potential employee’s drug use (if any) in the past 90 days.

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