Choosing a Thoracic Surgeon

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
Robotic techniques.

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