Choosing a Thoracic Surgeon
When a patient’s primary care doctor or other specialist suggests the need to see a thoracic surgeon, it
can feel unnerving. Finding a highly skilled thoracic surgeon can help put patients at ease.
How does one choose the right thoracic surgeon? Some factors may help a patient decide.
- Check References.
a. Important sources may be other patients, the referring physician or the surgeon’s professional
b. Do not be put off by social media negative reviews or be overtly attracted by social media
advertisement No surgeon is perfect and anyone who claims perfection, is in all probability,
being uneconomical with the truth. Very effusive social media reviews should make one cautious.
- Check the surgeon’s credentials.
This often helps to reassure that that the doctor has the necessary training, skills and
experience to perform thoracic surgery
- Consider the surgeon’s experience.
a. Experience matters.
b. The more experience a thoracic surgeon has with a particular condition or procedure, the
better the patient’s results are likely to be. Experience enables the thoracic surgeon to
better prevent, anticipate, and manage complications. It is permissible to ask how many
of the procedures the doctor has performed and find out about complication
rates—complications the doctor has encountered as well as your own risk of
c. The surgeon’s use of a risk calculator should indicate that he is honest, careful and
accurate in counseling
- The hospital where the surgeon works
a. Consider the quality of care at the hospital where the thoracic surgeon can treat patients.
Nursing care after thoracic surgery is complex. Hospital quality and facilities matters
because patients at top-rated hospitals have fewer complications and better survival
rates. Two hospitals in the same city may report very different outcomes data.
Additionally, consider the hospital’s location. Chest surgery and rehabilitation may require
frequent trips to the thoracic surgeon’s office or hospital. Geographical ease is important
though it should not be the only determinant.
- Communication Style
a. The surgeon should make a patient comfortable and respect the information needs of the
patient. He should welcome questions and make sincere efforts to answer queries in the
patient’s own language.. He should not be afraid of the patient seeking a second opinion
and should respect the patient’s intellectual capacity. Online reviews can often give a
glimpse of the surgeon’s communication skills and personality.
- Reviews by patients
a. Reading what other people have to say about a thoracic surgeon can provide insight into
how they practice medicine, as well as how his or her medical practice is operated.
These typically reflect a patient and the family’s overall experience, such as
communication, scheduling appointments, wait times and office environment, and office
friendliness and how well patients trust the doctor, how much time they spend with their
patients, and how well they answers questions.
Sir Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi, is a tertiary care hospital and one of the leading thoracic surgery
centres in North India. It has been at the forefront of all thoracic surgical procedures including all chest
cancers and complex surgical procedures like airway reconstructions using open, Video assisted and