Thursday, April 7, 2011

How did you pick your surgeon?

There are lots of ways to find a surgeon - you go with the one your doctor recommends you, you ask a million friends for referrals, you research them in the state medical society to make sure they haven't been charged with malpractice, etc. But how do you know how good they really are at the surgery you need?

Apparently there isn't a good way to find out how good an individual surgeon is for your type of procedure. There is no magic registry where the surgeons report "I did six of those last week and three of these. Two of them had complications and needed longer hospital stays." Nor is there a listing that says of the number of procedures this doctor did and what was the outcome one, three, and six months later.

So what can you do, not a hell of a lot. You can cross your fingers - always useful. Or flip a coin. Look up your hospital with the American College of Surgeons listings and see how your hospital did. But you don't know about the individual surgeon.

Or if you are lucky enough to need surgery on the same part of your body multiple times, you can use the same surgeon over and over again.

So its just another crap shoot in the pursuit of medical treatment. Good luck!

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