Choosing an orthopedic surgeon is a crucial decision that can have lasting impacts on your health and quality of life. Drawing from my experiences as an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hips and knees, I’ll share the key factors I would consider if I were to choose an orthopedic surgeon for myself.
Board Certification and Specialization
Ensure that the orthopedic surgeon you’re considering is board-certified. This certification is a testament to their rigorous training and the comprehensive exams they’ve passed. My own journey to board certification was a challenging one, demanding a high level of commitment and mastery of orthopedic knowledge. Specialization is equally important. You’ll want to select a surgeon who specializes in your area of need, be it hip or knee replacement. As a fellowship-trained specialist in these areas, I can attest to the unique skill set and knowledge they require.
Experience and Skill Level
Experience is invaluable in the medical field. The more procedures a surgeon performs, the more adept they become, leading to better patient outcomes. I’ve seen this in my own career, as each hip and knee replacement I’ve performed has honed my skills and deepened my understanding of these procedures. Don’t hesitate to ask your potential surgeon about their experience with your specific procedure.
Hospital Quality and Resources
The quality of the hospital or surgery center where a surgeon operates is a significant factor. Consider aspects like infection rates and patient satisfaction scores. I operate at the Honolulu Spine Surgery Center, an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC). ASCs are independent healthcare facilities that perform outpatient surgery, offering benefits such as reduced patient cost, improved sanitation, and convenient scheduling. After their procedure, patients can recover in the comfort of their own homes instead of a hospital bed1.
Communication and Comfort Level
Establishing a comfortable relationship with your surgeon is essential. From my experience, good communication is key to understanding your condition, the procedure, and the recovery process. Over the years, I’ve realized that my relationship with my patients is as important as my surgical skills. I strive to create an open dialogue where my patients feel comfortable asking questions and expressing their concerns.
Patient Reviews and Referrals
Referrals from other doctors or patients can provide valuable insight when choosing a surgeon. Patient reviews, and testimonials can also offer a glimpse into others’ experiences. I’ve been fortunate to receive positive feedback and referrals from my patients, which I believe reflects my commitment to their care.
Finally, ensure that your insurance is accepted by the surgeon and the hospital or surgical center where they operate. The financial aspect of surgery can be a significant stressor for patients, and I believe it’s important to provide clear information about costs and insurance coverage upfront. Remember, surgery centers can cost 30% of the same surgery performed at a hospital.
Choosing an orthopedic surgeon is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Consider their certification, specialization, experience, the quality of the hospital or surgical center where they operate, communication style, patient reviews, and insurance acceptance. Remember, you have the right to feel comfortable and confident with your healthcare choices.
If you have any questions about what to look for in an orthopedic surgeon, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help guide you through this important decision.