If you are looking to buy a car, chances are that you will begin by conducting a thorough investigation into the type of cars that catch your fancy and then work down into the more important details like gas mileage, repair cost and rate, availability of car parts for repairs, maintenance requirements, and other factors. More important than choosing a car is your health. Knowing that you need to see a heart surgeon can be concerning and unlike choosing a car, you cannot tangibly test several of them to access their functionality.
When choosing a heart surgeon, several things come to mind, especially as the success of the surgery is largely based on the expertise of the surgeon and availability of facilities and infrastructures to support the surgical procedure. A good heart or cardiac surgeon will be able to guide you through the process, preparing you ahead of the procedure and offering you all the information needed to ensure the overall success of your surgery.
The big question however remains; how do I find the best heart surgeon? While it is not recommended that you randomly choose a surgeon for your needs, below are some of the important factors to keep in mind when on the lookout for a heart surgeon.
1. Get Referrals
A great way to take control of your health pre, during and post-surgery is to look for the best cardiac surgeon for your needs. It is recommended that you begin your search for the right specialist by obtaining a referral list from your primary care doctor or cardiologist. Chances are that your primary care doctor has referred some other patients for the same or similar condition and procedure and as such has a list of specialists who are experienced in the field of interest. While you work on the referral list from your cardiologist and primary care doctor, it is also recommended that you speak to family and friends for additional referrals. If you have a member of your family or circle of friends who have undergone a similar procedure, they may be able to offer first-hand advice regarding options.
After collecting a list of referrals, take your time to research each option, making sure that all that is needed to facilitate the success of the procedure. As you refine the list and eliminate some of the options, make sure to call the experts to schedule a meeting.
2. Credentials Matter
After having eliminated some of the options you’ve been provided as part of your preliminary research, it is recommended that you carry out detailed research into the credentials of the specialists. during the meeting and interview, knowing that the heart surgeon is board certified will add a layer of trust in the expertise of the specialist. A heart surgeon who is certified tells you that he/she has undergone the necessary training, has the needed experience and skills to perform heart surgery.
As part of this stage, it is recommended that you confirm that the specialist does not have any past or present cases of malpractice against them.
3. Experience is important
Similar to any professional field, their experience is important. You want to make sure that the heart surgeon you are entrusting your life and body with is one that has a huge success record and has performed the same or similar procedures on several other patients. Be sure to ask if such a surgeon has performed such procedures on past patients and what the outcome of the procedure was. Also inquire about complications, chances of complications, possible risks and more.
4. Gender Specialization
When choosing a heart surgeon, similar to choosing a primary care doctor, you want to be sure that you are working with someone whom you feel comfortable with. You may want to choose a cardiac surgeon based on gender specification. This is because the medical field is expanding and with this, more heart surgeons are becoming gender specialized. Be sure to ask if the heart surgeon has experience working with patients of your gender and what their most recent experience was like
5. Conduct Research Into The Hospital Quality
The surgeon is only as good as the facilities and infrastructures they are presented with. You want to make sure that the hospital where the procedure will be carried out is one that has all that you need to make the procedure a successful one. Confirm if the hospital has state-of-the-art equipment, backup power, proper sanitation and hygiene, and more. Also, the hospital’s location is an important factor to consider as you will most likely be engaged in pre-surgery counseling.
Communication is key in healthcare service and delivery. It is recommended that you choose a cardiac surgeon that you feel comfortable discussing with. Choose a surgeon that listens and offers clear answers to all the questions you pose. It is always recommended that you choose a heart surgeon who is interested in you and your case as this increases the chances of success.