Surgeries that some consider routine can still sometimes cause serious complications. No matter how straightforward you think your surgery might be, you still want to be in the absolute best surgical hands.
Today, your surgeon and hospital are especially important for procedures that are new or complex or even routine. You should be concerned and research but your surgeon and the hospital for that matter as most errors happen in a hospital setting according to John Hopkins report in May noting the third leading cause of death is medical errors. In your search for the best surgeon one indicator is how often your surgeon performs the procedure you’re seeking. For example, a study by researchers at New Hampshire’s Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center of people undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer found that annual death rates were nearly four times higher for those treated by surgeons who performed the fewest operations.
With that being said, how should you choose a surgeon, someone with whom you’ll be sharing some of your most personal information and entrusting with life-and-death decisions? Communication with your surgeon is essential.
Ask your prospective surgeon these questions before going under…
Are you board certified, and is your certification current?
- Look for a surgeon who has the necessary board certification(s), necessary training, and has maintained their certification(s) in the specialty they are practicing.
Is this surgery necessary?
- Avoiding surgery entirely is the only sure way to avoid a surgical complication; understanding the effectiveness of the surgery and having exhausted alternatives you then need to compare the results of your alternatives with the possible risks of the surgery.
What are your success, failure, and complication rates?
- Not all surgeons are willing to be upfront with this information, but a good surgeon will.
What is your experience with this surgery?
- Ask your surgeon how many of these procedures he or she has performed and compare that number with other surgeons performing the same procedure. The best surgeon is not necessarily the busiest surgeon; it’s about avoiding the surgeon who has not performed the procedure as much or as often or as well.
What’s the hospital’s infection rate?
- Seventeen states now make that information public, and many hospitals report their rates voluntarily. Kudos to them! After asking these questions and others relating to your needs, likes, and dislikes, do your homework and make your choice. Your final decision could be one of the most important you’ll make for you and your family.
To locate a Top10MD Surgeon you can trust visit Top10MD.com and schedule your appointment today.