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What to Consider Before Choosing a Surgeon

April 27, 2020 | By Munyaradzi Chimukangara, MD

If you are facing surgery – either elective or required – choosing the right surgeon for your needs is an important decision. Here are some criteria you might want to consider.

Is your surgeon qualified to perform your particular surgery? Is he or she board certified and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons? Both of these criteria indicate the surgeon has demonstrated extensive knowledge in the field of surgery and promotes high standards and best practices. To check if your surgeon is board certified, visit the American Board of Surgery at, the Federation of State Medical Boards at or the American Board of Medical Specialties at The FSMB also has links to state websites for information on any disciplinary action taken against your surgeon.

How often has the surgeon performed the surgery you need? You’ll want to find someone with a strong track record of successful outcomes for your specific surgery. A surgeon who performs a particular surgery once a year may not be your best option. Ask your surgeon how many such procedures he or she has performed.

How often has the surgeon performed robot-assisted surgeries? If you have a choice, you may want to ask about robotic surgery, as it typically results in smaller scars, less pain, faster recovery and better outcomes. Your surgeon will determine if this is an option for your surgery.

How comfortable are you with the surgeon’s manner? Do you prefer someone who gets straight to the point – or are you more comfortable with someone who eases you into a decision? Does the surgeon take time to answer all of your questions – or does he or she have a hand on the doorknob while you’re asking? Is he or she comfortable when you ask for a second opinion?

Does the surgeon’s staff treat you with respect? Are your questions answered in a timely manner? Are you made to feel like a valued patient?

Choosing a surgeon is an important decision. When you have a choice, give us a call. We believe we have some of the finest surgeons in the Upper Midwest and would be happy to talk with you about your surgical needs.