Hi. My primary physician referred me to a general surgeon for hernia surgery. I have doubts about a general surgeon's ability to perform a laparoscopic bilateral procedure. Several reputable sources note that this surgery has a steep learning curve and that <200 surgeries per year would ensure enough experience. How do I find out a surgeon's experience? Are there accrediting organizations for specific procedures? Are there questions that a patient would be wise to ask before agreeing to surgery?
Inguinal hernia repairs are usually either the most common or the second most common procedure performed by general surgeons in practice. I would think that your primary care made a specific referral based on excellent service and outcomes in the past. Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repairs have been common place for over twenty years and have gotten progressively easier to perform through the development of preformed mesh that fits the space much better than the old days when we had to fashion our own fom a flat sheet of material. In my community where roughly thirty general surgeons practice, complications have been exceedingly rare.
Thank you Dr. Watters for your prompt reply. This is my first surgery under general anesthesia. My anxiety is heightened and my trust challenged. I understand that laparascopic hernia repair is becoming more common. I just want to ensure that I am under the care of someone whose level of experience engenders confidence. And, I'd like to ascertain this information without being disrespectful! Thanks again.
We are seeing a much more educated group of patients now. Most have done some research on what questions to ask and inquiring about volume is fair game. I don't think many surgeons would think that would be disrespectful to ask.
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