Choosing a Surgeon
There’s no more important decision than finding the right surgeon.
Experience is the single most important thing to look for in a surgical team and a surgical facility. Choose a surgeon who has not only undergone extensive training in the procedure you are considering, but who also has extensive experience in performing the surgery. Studies show that doctors who perform the most surgeries have the most positive outcomes. Be sure to ask the surgeon about his or her experience and qualifications.
Ask your surgeon about his or her credentials.
These professional certifications are all excellent indicators of a surgeon’s competence:
Board Certification — This stamp of approval from the American Board of Surgery is proof that a surgeon has successfully completed years of residency training in his or her specialty. It also means the surgeon has demonstrated a high level of knowledge and competence by passing a rigorous specialty examination.
Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons (F.A.C.S.) — General surgeons may have this designation, which indicates the surgeon has met extremely high standards for professional competence and ethics. Surgeons who specialize (such as cardiac surgeons or neurosurgeons) may have F.A.C.S. credentials that are specific to their area of expertise.
Other questions to ask your surgeon.
When evaluating a surgeon’s experience, you should ask questions such as:
- Does he or she specialize in surgery for a particular condition or part of the anatomy?
- Does he or she specialize in pediatric surgery? Or does he or she operate on people of all ages?
- How many times has the surgeon performed a procedure similar to yours?
For your own peace of mind, get as much information as you can about the nature of your surgeon’s experience. Is the surgeon someone you can communicate with freely? It’s important to choose a surgeon who is willing to address all of your questions and concerns — someone who is interested in your comfort and well-being.
Learn more about the surgical specialties at Swedish
Click on any of the links below to find out all about specialty surgery services available at Swedish:
Contact Patient Registration