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How Does One Go About Getting the "track-record" of a Surgeon?

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posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 09:27 PM
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A family member of mine has undergone two aortic heart valve replacements in the last two years. The first was a total nightmare; heart stopped, life support, all that. The valve continued to leak post-surgery and needed to be repeated. The second surgery was done at the Mayo Clinic (very reputable place). Everything following this surgery seemed ok.

Now, not quite two years later, this family member has been going through chest pains, shortness of breath, etc. All that fun stuff. An echocardiogram today revealed that she needs yet another aortic valve replacement or her life-expectancy will be no more than two years.

I've been looking online for doctors in our area who specialize in this surgery and have found a few, but no information is provided on how many of these surgeries they have performed, if they were successful, mortality rates, etc. This seems vital information to me. I know doctors have to go through a lot of schooling and are all well-prepared - but, I would prefer to find someone with actual, repeated, real-life experience. Not a fresh-out-med-school surgeon.

My question is, is this type of information available? Do doctors keep track of such statistics and how is a person able to get hold of them? Or can they?




posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 09:42 PM
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You know it is a bit hard to answer because we do not know where you live, not even the damn country.

You want help but can't seem to get your head around the fact that even if you are in America the answers you seek could change state to state.

The Mayo clinic could be a hint but then, you could have traveled there.

P



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 09:50 PM
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reply to post by pheonix358
 


I'm in America, upper Midwest. My family member is not - we are willing to travel as it's rather important. I say I've searched around my area because it would be handy to have a family home to recover in post-surgery rather than a hotel or long trip back home. Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Nevada, Washington ...I know the privacy laws and such change from state to state.

I'm just looking for some direction, is all. Who and what to ask, is it only available once the doctor has accepted the person as a patient? Is it available at all? Anywhere? I suppose a conspiracy forum is not the right place to ask.



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 09:52 PM
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Its public record...from the schools to the trade..its there..
Generally if they are in a group..that group will provide the education...

I had 7 surgeries on my back...
Luckily my insurance allowed me to compare every doctor....

If its any help.. I should not be walking....
Answer...I still can walk.

This access varies from place to place....but if the doctor comes highly acclaimed....those credentials are there in writing...



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 09:53 PM
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reply to post by kalunom
 

That's a really good question. I'm not sure research will provide the definitive answer for the question posed.

There's one institution in North Carolina which specializes in heart surgery. It's a conveyor-belt type procedure they've set up. Each stage of the operation is carried out by folks who do nothing other than their small part. Nobody's cross-trained to do what somebody else is responsible for. They're just consummate experts in what it is they're supposed to do. They do thousands of procedures ... and that's what 'makes' them good.

My dad got bypass surgery in this way. Very risky for him ... total success. I'd highly recommend you stop hoping you'll find the guy with the stellar recommendations and look for an activity as I've described. Your insurance company may be a great help in this endeavor.

Whatever you choose to do ... I wish you the very best!!



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 09:58 PM
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reply to post by kalunom
 


You said mayo...
That's Ohio east.....

Sadly what you say is still early out of surge...yes even 3 yrs or less....
Scars..clots and what not....

Simply put the doctors name into Google...yes it does work...tell it a group the doctor works for....

As for my area...Pittsburgh.....the records are up for view...



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 10:03 PM
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Snarl
reply to post by kalunom
 

That's a really good question. I'm not sure research will provide the definitive answer for the question posed.

There's one institution in North Carolina which specializes in heart surgery. It's a conveyor-belt type procedure they've set up. Each stage of the operation is carried out by folks who do nothing other than their small part. Nobody's cross-trained to do what somebody else is responsible for. They're just consummate experts in what it is they're supposed to do. They do thousands of procedures ... and that's what 'makes' them good.

My dad got bypass surgery in this way. Very risky for him ... total success. I'd highly recommend you stop hoping you'll find the guy with the stellar recommendations and look for an activity as I've described. Your insurance company may be a great help in this endeavor.

Whatever you choose to do ... I wish you the very best!!



This seems to always come up...N. Carolina seems to hit with stars when it come to good Doctors...as well as Georgia...

Golfing must be good



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 10:05 PM
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Since travel is possible, I would ask her family doctor or especially the cardiologist for recommendations in those specific cities; in some ways, this is one big club and they all either know each other, or know OF each other; but ask from the point of view of 'if this is your mother, who would you send her to given these locations'; then once you have those names, you can just look them up on line; every doctor has websites or google locations with reviews posted; take them with a grain of salt; complainers love to complain more than people giving kudos like to post.

Then call up the doctor themselves or make an appt to see them if possible and ASK TO SEE THEIR STATS. They all have them, and their insurance companies keep close tabs on them. The problem with interpreting these is, the best docs tend to get the sickest patients and the mortality records will have that embedded in them. Also, if someone dies more than a day or two after surgery, that can be attributed to a lot of things besides the quality of the surgery itself. Fragile people who undergo heart surgery have a tendency to not make it, sad to say. Lots can go wrong. The doctor should be willing to give you an interview for free on the phone, and you'll get a good feel for him/her that way. (A good question is; 'If we can't come to you, who would you recommend?'; don't be afraid that you're being rude; they'll respect your concern.)

In the meantime, I would recommend your mother start taking in a large dose of Vitamin C daily; on the order of 1000 to 5000 mg a day at least (not a typo); the tissues of our bodies cannot heal without adequate C intake and most people are extremely deficient bordering on scurvy. I'm not talking a bit of orange juice here; I'm talking buy some Vitamin C powder add it to drinking water and sip it throughout the day, or look into the advice here at ATS about making a liposomal combination of lecithin and Vitamin C and having her take that; it tastes like pickle juice and may be difficult to keep taking.

The C is not only for healing purposes post surgery; it could possibly (just possibly) help the tissues of her heart strengthen up to the point where the surgery is not so necessary; the C is needed for cell integrity and fibrous tissue strength all over.

liposomal Vit C link

If she's a smoker, she's burning through an estimated 500 mg of C with every cigarette and poisoning every cell in her body in the process and so stopping is critical.


edit on 1211101pmThursdayf11Thu, 30 Jan 2014 22:11:12 -0600America/Chicago by signalfire because: addendum



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 10:06 PM
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reply to post by Snarl
 


Conveyor-belt type surgery, now that is something entirely new to me. Scares the hell out of me to be honest. I could see the efficiency of it and the surgeon not becoming weary during a lengthy procedure and botching some "little" detail or other - but, at the same time, scary!

I'm glad there was a good outcome in your case. I realize that my wanting to find the ideal doctor and circumstances is a bit (okay, a lot) fantastical - I just am frustrated with it and want to do what I can. North Carolina may be a long shot, and I'm not sure if this offered for aortic valve replacement surgery, but I will look into it. Thank you!



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 10:10 PM
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reply to post by kalunom
 


If your family member received a successful surgery of this same type at Mayo Clinic two years ago, why not go back to the same doctor? Seems the most logical choice to me.
edit on 30-1-2014 by yamammasamonkey because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 10:19 PM
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reply to post by signalfire
 


Thank you. That is valuable information. And understandable that insurance companies would keep close tabs on the doctors' performance but, is that publicly available information?

I've read through reviews of doctors, credentials, the schools they attended, etc. All readily available... It's just that after two surgeries already, one with a doctor who was just 'there-and-certified', another with one at the Mayo Clinic, and well, bad results. I suppose I am just irritated and tending not to believe a word I'm told.

I'm a type that has a need to know every little detail. I'd go door-to-door and have a conversation with each potential doctor, if I could.

In the end, I know I'll just have to accept that it needs to be done and it will be done by someone...and it's not really in my hands.

I will bring up the vitamin-c. And, no she has never smoked a day in her life - the only one in the family who doesn't smoke, actually.



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 10:21 PM
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reply to post by yamammasamonkey
 


To be more clear, the surgery at Mayo was "seemingly" successful. The valve was still leaking. People with leaky heart valves can sometimes show no symptoms until it gets really bad - which has now occurred.



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 10:22 PM
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kalunom
reply to post by Snarl
 


Conveyor-belt type surgery, now that is something entirely new to me. Scares the hell out of me to be honest. I could see the efficiency of it and the surgeon not becoming weary during a lengthy procedure and botching some "little" detail or other - but, at the same time, scary!

I'm glad there was a good outcome in your case. I realize that my wanting to find the ideal doctor and circumstances is a bit (okay, a lot) fantastical - I just am frustrated with it and want to do what I can. North Carolina may be a long shot, and I'm not sure if this offered for aortic valve replacement surgery, but I will look into it. Thank you!


The 'conveyor belt' surgery places scare me too, and I've got 30+ years in, in hospitals. You want to be a person to them, not a number. A lot can go wrong when you're being passed from one surgeon to another.

Sorry for above where I called your family member your 'mother'; I was presuming after reading it quickly.



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 10:26 PM
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kalunom
reply to post by signalfire
 


Thank you. That is valuable information. And understandable that insurance companies would keep close tabs on the doctors' performance but, is that publicly available information?

I've read through reviews of doctors, credentials, the schools they attended, etc. All readily available... It's just that after two surgeries already, one with a doctor who was just 'there-and-certified', another with one at the Mayo Clinic, and well, bad results. I suppose I am just irritated and tending not to believe a word I'm told.

I'm a type that has a need to know every little detail. I'd go door-to-door and have a conversation with each potential doctor, if I could.



The info you want is not 'publicly available' all that easily; but the surgeon themselves will have it available and should offer it up willingly when asked (itself a test).

You want someone not right out of school and maybe not the oldest guy on staff either, possibility of burn out there. Unless he's very highly respected but you'll only really get the drift on that after your family member is admitted and you see the staff's reaction to her attending. Trust it if the nurses and technicians all tell you you're in very good hands.

There's a sweet spot with surgeons where they aren't rank amateurs (and rather cocky) and where they've lost a few patients and learned from it, and before they're only counting the years until retirement or should have retired a while back and haven't yet. Figure aged between 38 and 50...

And like you said at some point, you have to just let them do what they do best.



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 10:35 PM
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signalfire

kalunom
reply to post by Snarl
 


Conveyor-belt type surgery, now that is something entirely new to me. Scares the hell out of me to be honest. I could see the efficiency of it and the surgeon not becoming weary during a lengthy procedure and botching some "little" detail or other - but, at the same time, scary!

I'm glad there was a good outcome in your case. I realize that my wanting to find the ideal doctor and circumstances is a bit (okay, a lot) fantastical - I just am frustrated with it and want to do what I can. North Carolina may be a long shot, and I'm not sure if this offered for aortic valve replacement surgery, but I will look into it. Thank you!


The 'conveyor belt' surgery places scare me too, and I've got 30+ years in, in hospitals. You want to be a person to them, not a number. A lot can go wrong when you're being passed from one surgeon to another.

Sorry for above where I called your family member your 'mother'; I was presuming after reading it quickly.

I felt the same way about it myself. Then I started considering the fatigue factor. Then I started considering the hyper-specialized aspects of each surgical team. In the end ... this 'process' is proving itself to be incredibly successful.

FWIW, my old man went in for a double bypass. He wound up with a quadruple. That's because the surgeon knew exactly what he was doing with that heart and had the time and the team on-hand to make it happen. Because the entire process normally take less time, with everyone knowing exactly what it is they're supposed to do ... every step of the way, they were able to make a minor adjustment and do the whole thing the first time.

Getting cut open over ... and over ...and over again is not what I would consider to be successful medicine.

-Cheers



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 10:37 PM
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signalfire

Sorry for above where I called your family member your 'mother'; I was presuming after reading it quickly.


No worries, your presumption was correct.



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 10:41 PM
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I would also research the hospital's infection MRSA, staph,record as that also is vitally important to a successful recovery. Wishing you all the best.
edit on 30-1-2014 by aboutface because: (no reason given)



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