How best where to research surgeons/hospitals?

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Marguerite53

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Hi Chris.
I think the most important thing that I have heard is that you choose a surgeon who is very experienced with your particular type of surgery (like he/she does hundreds of those surgeries a year), and a hospital that has a serious heart center. A quick online search shows US News & World Report ranks Cedars-Sinai in LA as a top cardiology hospital. UCLA shows up, too. You're in a great place!
When looking over surgeons, you can see where they went to school and did their residency. Top medical schools are ranked and rated all over the internet to help you fashion a vision for how well trained you would want your surgeon to be. I've been through it twice now and frankly, I do not remember where my surgeons went to school! My first was recommended by my Stanford trained cardiologist. The second was at our city's top heart center and I did not choose him -- due to the nature of my valve failure he was chosen for me by the staff and his availability on short notice.

I hope others will weigh in on this for you.
Best wishes!
Marguerite
 

tom in MO

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Jan 17, 2012
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MO USA
I checked my surgeon's biography and like the hospital he was trained in. I liked the fact he participated in clinical trials and was part of the teaching team at the hospital.

I always check the state medical board to see the status of the surgeon's license and if there are past official actions.

I asked my surgeon how many he did a year, how many failures a year and if my operation was "difficult" in his estimation.

On-line ratings are often of little value. For example, the online reviewers don't like my neurologist because of her manner being not warm enough. For me, she's a scientist, and I don't mind and rather like her detachment and clinical expressions.

Most people cite US News and World Report to find information. Where I live one hospital advertises they have the highest rated heart hospital in the area per that report, but in the actual report they were only a few points higher than the other major heart hospital. The hospital rated higher had a huge scandal in their heart surgery program 15 years ago and is a state hospital

I like hospitals that are not for profit and not run by the state. I didn't choose the better rated hospital due to past scandal, it being a state hospital and the hospital I chose is not-for-profit and I know them well since I had 3 previous operations there.
 
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Eva

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I asked my cardiologist, friends, and my PCP for recommendations! Then, I researched about them.
I had mine at UCLA.
Look for surgeons lists at each of UCLA, Cedars-Sinai, St. John. And then read about each one. Good luck.
 

Chris

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Los Angeles, CA
Thanks for your replies. I've talked to a bunch of friends and gotten some solid recommendations. I've also discovered that I should have switched from an HMO to a PPO at open enrollment at the beginning of the year. So far, all of the Cardiologists & Cardiac Surgeons that I'd want to see only accept the PPO version of my insurance.
 

Eva

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Thanks for your replies. I've talked to a bunch of friends and gotten some solid recommendations. I've also discovered that I should have switched from an HMO to a PPO at open enrollment at the beginning of the year. So far, all of the Cardiologists & Cardiac Surgeons that I'd want to see only accept the PPO version of my insurance.
Good luck, Chris. Keep us posted.
 
Joined
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Tx
If your insurance is Aetna you could come to Texas. My surgeon has frequent out of staters come. He and the university accept Aetna HMO and I am sure others.
 

sylviayasgur

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Sep 1, 2001
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Westchester, NY
Agree with all. Ask your doctor/cardiologist for surgeon recommendations. Research them, meet with them and ask here. You will want a surgeon who has done many of these surgeries and is extremely skilled and prepared for whatever arises once they perform your surgery. I know there are members here who can recommend surgeons in the LA area.
Please keep us posted and be well!
 

AZ Don

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Apr 23, 2013
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Phoenix, AZ
Another resource for Dr's is https://www.castleconnolly.com/ . You can search for Top Doctors by specialty (eg. Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery) and location for free. It used to be that Top Doctors were Dr's ranked in the top 10% in their specialty by their peers. The website has changed and it isn't entirely clear to me if that is still the case. I think Healthgrades is also a good resource to get the patients perspective.
 

Keithl

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Apr 20, 2019
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See my post here on the research I did

 

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