Planning for surgery is not a decision to take lightly. Remember that you will live with the decision for the rest of your life, so you only have one opportunity to choose wisely. You must identify a reputable surgeon once you have accepted the potential that you will require surgery and are eager to get it.
In some scenarios exploring a second option may be advisable, but it is doubtful that you will have the chance to consider other options if you are having an urgent procedure. If your surgery is planned, you can significantly increase your chances of having a successful operation by doing homework. Keep in mind the following aspects.
Quality of the facility
When choosing a surgeon, your options may be restricted to the facilities where they can practice medicine or have privileges. Your surgeon might work at several hospitals and surgical facilities and have an office where they see patients both before and after surgery. The quality of these facilities is crucial, above and beyond their convenient locations.
In the general audience’s interest, quality standards are available that all surgery facilities must meet. A quick online search will give a wealth of information regarding how the facility you are considering compares to others in terms of mortality (death) rates, infection rates, and the number of medical errors that took place there. These data can help you make an informed choice.
Cost of surgery
This is one of the most critical factors that may determine your choice of surgery facility. As you may already know, a surgical procedure is not cheap, and the cost may vary depending on the surgeon and facility. Remember that the cost of surgery may include other expenses like initial consultations, anesthesia, and after-surgery care. If you use insurance, choose wisely to ensure you get the most out of it.
Some institutions may reimburse you at their highest rate if your insurance is “in-network,” which means they accept it. Other facilities might be “out of network,” which would result in a much lower percentage of coverage from your insurance, with you on the hook for the difference.
Some patients claim that after having surgery, they learned that the hospital they selected was in-network, only to learn later that the anesthesiology services were out-of-network and that they were now responsible for a hefty charge. Make sure the surgeon, facility, and anesthetic providers are all “in-network” for your surgery by checking to be sure they are all.
Does the facility routinely perform the surgery?
You don’t want to be the only one to have undergone surgery in the facility that year. You should seek a clinic that regularly conducts your specific procedure, preferably more than once a day, if the surgery is prevalent. That can assure you that the staff has more experience caring for patients who have undergone surgery. In the case of uncommon procedures like heart transplants, you should seek a highly skilled and experienced surgeon.