If you are facing surgery, it pays to do your research when selecting the best surgical doctor.
According to SurgeonRatings.org, for example, patients who undergo heart valve and bypass surgery with the highest performing surgeons have death rates of under 3 percent.
Compare that to the death rates of low-performing surgeons, whose death rates are more than 11 percent.
How do you find the right surgical doctor? What kind of doctor do you need? Which doctors does your insurance cover? Here are five tips on how to find the right doctor for your upcoming surgery.
Doctors Your Insurance Covers
For most of us, insurance coverage is the top priority. Unless you can afford to pay out-of-pocket, you will need to choose the types of doctors in hospitals who participate in your healthcare plan.
Once you narrow your choices according to your health insurance, choosing a surgeon becomes a personal decision.
1. Review the Surgeon’s Credentials
A surgeon’s credentials are available online. They list board certifications, fellowship training, and other experience. This information lets you know that the doctor has the skills, training, and experience required for your procedure.
The more experience the surgeon has with your specific condition, the greater your chances of recovery.
2. Best Surgical Doctor Patient Reviews
Sites like Healthgrades also contain patient reviews. If a doctor has a disproportionate amount of negative reviews, you may want to explore your options further.
Also, reading positive reviews gives you a practical idea of how the surgeon practices medicine as well as how he or she responds to patients’ questions, etc.
3. Review Hospital Quality
Your surgeon performs his procedures at a designated hospital, which means that’s the hospital where you will be. For this reason, take some time to research the reputation and quality of the hospital.
The better the hospital, the lower the chance of complications. Also, the distance between the hospital and your home may be a factor, depending on your transportation options.
4. Does Gender Matter?
A surgeon’s gender may or may not factor into your preferences for finding doctors. If it does, then choose consults with doctors of your preferred gender first.
Your gender also matters. Depending on the procedure, techniques can differ when treating men and women for the same condition.
During your consult, you can ask the surgeon specific questions about both your condition and approaches based on your gender.
5. Something to be Said for Bedside Manner
It’s an old adage, but it still applies. Surgery is a big deal, and you want to go with a surgical doctor that is approachable and open to your questions.
As the patient, you are part of the decision-making process. Your surgeon should respect you in that regard.
The Challenge of Finding a Surgeon
Finding doctors is not a simple process under any circumstances. It can be especially challenging to find the best surgical doctor because an illness is prompting you to do so. Hopefully, this article gave you a bit of direction.