6 factors to consider when choosing where to have surgery
If you need surgery, there are plenty of places to choose
from. But with new surgical centers popping up regularly, you may have a hard
time deciding where to go. Here are some important things to consider before
choosing where to go for both inpatient and outpatient surgeries.
1. Experience with your surgery
Unless you are in a clinical trial, your surgeon should have
experience performing your procedure. Find out how many times your surgeon has
performed the operation you need, but don't judge on the numbers alone. Many
types of surgeries, including those needed for rare conditions, don't happen
very often. You may need to find a surgeon who does more than common
The first step is to learn how common your specific surgery
is and how much experience is appropriate. Then, find a surgeon and hospital
with the experience you need.
2. Surgical outcomes
When researching a hospital for surgery, find out whether it
has a history of success. Consider doing the following:
● Ask about a facility's success rates, including what they
consider success. Different surgeries have different goals. Knowing what success looks like can give you realistic
expectations about your procedure.
● Learn about hospital quality ratings. Organizations like The Leapfrog Group rate
hospitals based on quality, outcomes, and more. If you see a rating you don't
like or don't understand, contact the hospital and ask questions about how they
ensure quality care and whether they have steps in place to control surgical
● Reach out to loved ones.
Consult a family member or friend who had the same procedure. Ask how their operation
went and whether they're satisfied with the outcome.
3. Safety surrounding surgery
The surgery experience goes beyond the operating room. You
want a hospital that focuses on keeping you safe before, during, and after your procedure.
Safety measures and statistics to investigate include:
● Blood clots,
infections, and other postsurgical complications
● Fall frequency and
prevention programs, if applicable
● Medication safety (how
often patients receive the correct amount or type of medication)
Find a hospital that always makes safety a priority and ask
what you can do to participate in your safety. A good care team will explain
what you can do before and after surgery to stay safe.
4. The patient experience
A successful surgery sets the stage for a good outcome, but a
good patient experience focuses on other important
factors you'll want to consider when choosing a hospital for your procedure.
Some of the questions you might want to ask include:
Do the surgeons and
other clinicians communicate with and respond well to their patients?
Do former patients
recommend the hospital to others?
Is the education on
medication, discharge, and transitioning home after hospitalization clear and
5. Available surgery techniques
Recent decades have brought amazing advances to the world of
surgery. For example, all surgeries once required large incisions, lengthy
hospital stays, and a long recovery.
Today, minimally invasive techniques can be used for many
procedures, including joint replacement surgery. Surgeons who use robotic-assisted surgery provide excellent results
with minimal injury to nearby healthy tissue, which means you get home and back
to life faster. Minimally invasive procedures involve smaller incisions, and in
many cases, patients who have them can go home the same day as their surgery.
Certain procedures, including some emergency surgeries,
still require open techniques. When choosing where to have surgery, find out
what surgical approaches are offered and what technique they plan to use for
6. Insurance coverage
If you have health insurance, your choices are often limited
by which facilities are included in your network. Fortunately, it's easy to
know whether a hospital accepts your insurance. You can either contact your
insurance provider by telephone or log in to your account online to find out.
You can also contact a hospital's financial
assistance and billing department to ask for help determining
whether your insurance will cover the surgery you need.
Looking for a great place for quality surgery close to home?
The Reid Health General Surgery Center is here for you.