Sizing up a surgeon, if you must…

In keeping with the prevention mode of this blog, here’s how to protect yourself if you need surgery. Before you go under the knife.

Most people hold surgeons in such high esteem they’re afraid to ask any tough questions.

But this is changing, says the WSJ:

“A rash of recent news has highlighted the risks, such as the death of rap mogul Kanye West’s mother after an office cosmetic procedure by a surgeon who was facing disciplinary action at the state medical board and two malpractice suits that ended in significant payouts.”

Questions patients and families should ask before surgery…

  • Do you perform this operation regularly? What are your results?
  • Are you board certified in the surgical specialty in which you practice?
  • Do you have any health problems that would interfere with our ability to do this operation?
  • What is your success rate with this operation and your safety record regarding complications?
  • Will I be involved in marketing the surgical site?

And after surgery…See here.

“There are no questions (about the surgeon’s competence to perform the operation) that should be off the table,” says Thomas Russell, a surgeon and executive director of the American College of Surgeons.

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