If you require any type of surgery, it’s critical to understand the details of the procedure and who will perform it. Choosing the right surgeon is easier said than done, especially if you’re ill and unable to put a lot of time into the search process.

Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take to research and compare surgeons with the idea of making a confident decision in a timely manner.

Here are three things you can do to start:

  • Confirm that they are licensed in your state: This sounds like a waste of time, but it’s important to double check. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) can provide you with this information, among other details.
  • Search around for past trouble: There’s always a chance a surgeon has been reprimanded by a professional licensing board in the past. The FSMB website can help you uncover any disciplinary history.
  • Use the internet to your advantage: There are a variety of websites that allow patients to share medical reviews. Once you have a list of potential surgeons in hand, read as many reviews as you can find. If any red flags pop up, dig around to determine if it’s a cause for concern.

Questions to ask a surgeon

Once you’ve set your sights on one particular surgeon, consult with them to learn more. This is the right time to ask questions such as:

  • Is there more than one type of surgical procedure for my problem?
  • How much experience do you have performing the type of procedure required?
  • What is the success rate of the procedure?
  • What are the risks of the procedure?
  • Can you explain the type of follow-up care that’s necessary to make a full recovery?
  • What types of medical professionals will assist with the surgery?

By asking these questions, among others, you’ll feel better about making a final decision.

Even if you take all these steps, there’s still a chance something could go wrong during your procedure. Any mistake, even a minor one, can adversely affect your health and well-being.

If you’re a victim of medical malpractice, don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion with the hope of stabilizing your health. Once you’re feeling up to it, learn more about your legal rights and your ability to seek compensation from the negligent doctor.