My Top 10 Tips for choosing a surgeon.
So you have had a conversation with your family doctor or other medical specialist and they have suggested surgery as a solution.
But how do you go about actually choosing the right surgeon for your procedure, especially in a new country?
Here are my top 10 tips for choosing the right surgeon for you:
- Recommendations – from your friends and family who had a good result as well as other medical professionals are a good place to start.
- Check their qualifications – it sounds obvious but make sure that your surgeon is qualified to perform surgery! On the Costa del Sol they must be registered with the Colegio de Medicos de Malaga – commalaga.com (other regions have their own Colegios)
- Assessment – make sure that they do a thorough assessment of you not just a quick glance at an MRI scan. A clothes off, hands on, clinical assessment.
- Other options – surgery is serious business, your surgeon should discuss ALL your options including non-surgical as well as your outcomes after various procedures.
- Independence – some surgeons only work with specific manufacturers of pieces, or insurance companies. Make sure that you are being offered the right option for YOU not your surgeon.
- Experience – how many times have they done this procedure? Practice makes perfect! And what are their success, failure and complication rates? Studies show that surgeons who conduct 12 or more procedures annually have the best track records. The best surgeons often perform hundreds of procedures each year.
- Specialisation – will they turn their hand to anything? Or do they perform a small selection of procedures extremely well. Specialists have a better success rate.
- Before and After – success depends on a host of factors including prescribing the right medications before and managing rehab afterwards – your surgeon should clearly explain the plan for you before, during and after surgery.
- Team – who else do they work with? Do their nurses and physiotherapists speak highly of them? A surgeon might be the lead but they need a support staff.
- Do you feel comfortable? You don’t have to want to go for a drink with them but you do need to feel comfortable and confident in them. If you’re not sure, make sure to get a second or even third opinion.
Dr Jyri Lepisto
Colegio No. 29/29/11425
MD, PhD, eMBA