A doctor is considered to be an incarnation of God and rightly so. The saying becomes more relevant once one has to go under the knife. Chosen right, a surgeon does everything in his ability to pull us out of our death-beds. Thanks to the internet, there is a problem of plenty, when it comes to information on anything and everything, which is why, the task to choose the right surgeon, can be extremely challenging.
“Too many people are being cut open when they are ideal candidates for minimally invasive procedures.” – Marty Makary, M.D.
The Right Surgeon – Determining Factors
Various factors determine the choice of the surgeon and the hospital. Some of these are:
1. Word of mouth
One wants to be doubly sure when it comes to going under a blade. After all, it is like choosing life and death. Word of mouth still plays an important role when it comes to finding a general surgeon in your city.
Knowing someone who has faced and done it before, reassures us about the expertise and the credibility of the surgeon. Also, how the surgeon is in person, the capability, qualifications, fees, follow-ups are answered easily. It increases the trust factor which is crucial in the treatment and recovery process.
2. Type of surgery
There are different types of surgery based on the duration, planned/unplanned, and the process. The type of surgery is the most important factor based on which a surgeon is chosen.
As per the research done by Consumers’ Checkbook, a nonprofit consumer watchdog group, mortality among patients undergoing heart valve and bypass surgery, for instance, was about three percent in the hands of top-notch surgeons.
The rate spiked to eleven percent for the surgeons who were rated average or poor. Considering the global population, it is a huge number. Going to a specialist surgeon is extremely important to ensure the best possible medical outcome from the surgery.
The location of the hospital is another important deciding factor to find the surgeon best suited to your needs. I know that there would be multiple visits, consultations, pre-surgery process, surgery, and post-surgery follow-ups.
Hence, a hospital and surgeon at arm’s length is going to be my natural choice. A hospital near me means saving time, cost and effort.
4. Approachability of the surgeon and support staff
Availability too, determines the choice of a surgeon. How approachable are the receptionist, the staff, and the surgeon determines whether the patient will continue the treatment or explore other options. With an excess of choices, patients, like customers, expect to be treated nicely.
They ex-pect a considerate behaviour, empathy, and convenience when scheduling their appointments with a surgeon.
Affordability is a crucial factor. The total cost of surgery determines whether the patient can un-dergo surgery or not, irrespective of the location. People with medical insurance have the luxury of choice, but in reality, Indian medical insurance has touched only the iceberg, considering its vast population. Cost is the deciding factor for majority of people.
6. Reviews and ratings
Reviews and ratings are true saviours when making this choice. Considering the criticality in choosing a surgeon, reviews play a crucial role. Various platforms are available that provide a huge pool of database of surgeons, hospitals, and medicines. These platforms have made it easier for patients to find the right surgeon in the same town or across the globe.
The above-mentioned factors help in creating a shortlist of the surgeons. The next step is to final-ize ‘The One’. Let’s delve deeper to understand how to make the right choice of your surgeon.
1. Check for credentials
The association of surgeons of India shows the detailed credentials and qualifications of sur-geons, including their institutes, year of passing, specialization, number of surgeries conducted, experience in hospitals, license, and so on. Check it out here https://asiindia.org/. The verification of credentials will give the confidence to decide.
2. Check for registration
The registration of the surgeons can be checked here www.mciindia.org. A registered surgeon is easy to contact and track. Take time in choosing the right surgeon to save regret.
3. Book an appointment
Book an appointment with the shortlisted surgeons for complete assurance. Many hospitals facili-tate pre-surgery counselling sessions that help in building trust and transparency among the pa-tients. Booking an appointment and meeting the prospective surgeon can serve as the perfect platform to clear any inhibitions and doubts in the mind of the patient and the family.
Do your homework before showing up for your appointment. Be ready with your questions! Some of these questions can be a complete explanation of the surgery process, recovery time, side effects, how to make it minimally invasive, hospitalisation period, the total costs including taxes, the chances of risks & complications, how often the surgery on the same condition has been per-formed by the surgeon, and so on.
The second opinion
Surgery is a big decision. Think twice; think thrice before finalizing your surgeon. Go for a sec-ond opinion and a third opinion, too, if required. Weigh your options carefully.
Voila, your quest to find the right surgeon is complete. Congratulations! We wish you a successful surgery and speedy recovery.