If you decide that surgery is right for your situation, you will need to choose the right doctor to perform your surgery. There are a number of factors that should influence your decision. You need to find a doctor who can perform the surgery that your condition requires. In most cases, there is more than one treatment option for medical problems. If your doctor states there is really only one surgical path to take, it is likely that this procedure is the only one he or she feels comfortable doing or is trained to do. Determining the skill of the surgeon is vital information for you to have. These are some questions you should ask any doctor you are considering for your surgery:
1) How many surgical procedures does the doctor perform a month?
2) How many of the surgical procedures you are requesting does this doctor do every month?
3) How many of these procedures has he or she performed on women with conditions or problems like yours?
4) How many complications from those surgeries performed have occurred with this doctor, and what kind of complications were they?
Some women are uncomfortable about asking these questions, but it is your body and your health. You have a right to get the best care possible. Finding a skilled surgeon is essential, and it is something you can do. Studies show that experience makes a surgeon better. Surgeons who frequently perform procedures have lower rates of complications. Surveys also show that many gynecologists perform less than one major operation a month. Choose your surgeon carefully.
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By William H. Parker, MD
Clinical Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, UCLA School of Medicine
Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery, UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica
Page last updated: August 13, 2013