If your doctor has recommended an emergency surgery or a common operation, you will most likely be operated on by a general surgeon. In the United States, there are about 18,000 general surgeons. These are professionals who are highly trained to provide comprehensive surgical care for the whole patient. But, how do you get the right general surgeon who will provide the best quality care?
Here the five main factors you should always consider:
1. Training and Experience
Surgery is a matter of life and death. Thus, you shouldn't trust a quack to gamble with your body. Take time to find out the general surgeon's medical training background. Apart from the initial education in a medical school, general surgeon's training also includes five years of residency training. Before certification by the American Board of Medical Specialties, they must also have completed at least 48 weeks of full-time work with patients. So, ask the surgeon to show you their credentials before trusting them with your body.
It's advisable to look for a general surgeon with positive recommendations from regulators, patients, health insurance providers, the general population, and other healthcare providers. Positive reviews tell a lot about the doctor's reputation, especially regarding their handling of surgical operations. Before going for general surgery, ask your general physician to recommend a good surgeon for you. You can also visit the surgeon's website and check what previous patients say about them.
3. The Cost
General surgeons' charges differ based on the type of surgery performed, the doctor's experience, and the reputation of the hospitals in which they operate. If you are going for a C-section, for instance, you need to pay about $13,000. When looking for a surgeon for this procedure, choose the one whose charges lie within this range. Surgical costs may be even higher for complex surgeries. Thus, ask for all costs, even hidden ones, and settle on services that fit your budget.
General surgical care is not a one-day procedure. It consists of preoperative, operative, and postoperative patient care. The entire procedure may span for months before completion. Before the surgery day, you need to make frequent trips to the hospital for examinations. After the operation, there will also be frequent follow-up visits. Thus, choose a general surgeon who operates within your locality, principally near your home.
5. Surgical Technology
Always seek general surgery services in a facility that uses modern surgical technologies. Due to advances in technology, most hospitals are now using cyberknife treatment, a form of radiosurgery that is non-invasive and painless. When you make your first visit, please ask about the hospital's application of information-age technologies, such as teleoperation, 3D visualization, robotics, and computer-assisted manipulation.
If your doctor recommends a surgical procedure, take your time and find a general surgeon. However, finding the right practitioner may be hard, especially if it's your first time. Ask for referrals from your doctor, health insurance provider, relatives, and even friends.