Rest assured hip and knee replacement surgery has been tried and tested over the years. Most implants/prostheses have also been around for years. Although they have been redesigned and refashioned since then, they are conceptually the same. They have stood the test of time. What makes one operation a success and another less successful is often a matter of surgical skill and experience.
Although many ends up going with the orthopaedic surgeon recommended by their primary physician, more and more patients are playing an active role in finding the man who’ll implant their new joint. Educating yourself about replacement is crucial. Perhaps just as important is knowing how to choose the right surgeon for the job. The decision to undergo any Joint Replacement surgery is a significant one and usually very well thought through by the patient and their family. Multiple aspects go into determining the choice of a specialist surgeon.
- how many hip replacements they have conducted
- their overall success rate
- if they are open to muscle-sparing replacements
- estimated recovery time
- if they will be involved with your aftercare
Start with referrals
Referrals are an excellent way to start with making the right selection of orthopaedic surgeons. The first place to get referrals is from your general physician or practitioner so that you get to enlist all the orthopaedic surgeons. Online reviews, relatives, friends, and other healthcare providers can help you make the right choice.
Look for the credentials
Try to gain some insight into the expertise, experience, and credentials of the enlisted orthopaedic surgeons. This includes knowing about their education, certification, and their history with surgeries. Years of experience, research publications, universities they have graduated from are all strong indicators of expertise.
Treatment specialities and experience
Orthopaedics is a vast field and it’s important to make sure that you select a surgeon with expertise in the specific area of your problem. For example, not every orthopaedic surgeon is likely to be an expert in knee replacement. Experience: How long has the surgeon been practising? In what disciplines? How many knee replacements has he or she performed? How many does he perform per year?
- Take questions in written form and make sure you ask them: Do not feel uncomfortable or intimidated asking your doctor about his or her experience and credentials. Make sure to ask any questions you might have about your condition and about surgical options
- At your consultation, evaluate your provider on his:
- Willingness to listen to your concerns.
- Ability to answer your questions and explain procedures.
- Willingness to be contacted for more information.
- Bedside manner?
- Personal involvement: Did you feel like a partner or a bystander in your care?
Information on hospital
After you are done getting crisp information about the surgeon’s experience and skills, you should evaluate the hospital where they work. The evaluation includes the examination of the hospital’s infrastructure, technology, instrumentation, dedicated laboratories, well-equipped operation theatres, and environmental control features.
Accreditation by NABH, National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers, is a good sign in terms of evaluating all the parameters listed above.
Hearing about the experience of other patients who have been operated upon by the doctor is one of the best ways to get confidence in the surgeon. Good surgeons often encourage patients to speak with their existing patients.
Some hospitals also organize camps / interactive sessions which involve both the surgeon and recovered patients.
Cost of treatment/insurance coverage
While it’s important to find a good surgeon and hospital, you also want to make sure you are covered financially. So, it’s critical to always check medical expenses or surgery costs to get the treatment. If you have a health insurance policy, you want to make sure about what is covered and to what extent. As much as possible, choose a network hospital to avail cashless hospitalization.
Are you willing to travel for a “better” surgeon? Depending on a number of factors (like health risks or financial reasons), travelling to another city, state or even country can be a logical decision.
It’s one of the most important decisions you will make for your future mobility, so trust your instincts: If you feel confident, convinced with the persona, reviews and experience then that is your Final Choice.