Usually, heart surgery is the final option for treating a cardiovascular issue, i.e. when medicines or drugs fail to provide positive feedback. As with any other surgery, heart surgery also contains some risks and complexities.
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Your Heart Valve Surgery
Having a doctor advise you that valve surgery is needed to treat your heart
condition can be a frightening event. However, correcting a malfunctioning heart
valve is necessary measure that most likely will save your life. Although most
heart surgeries are performed successfully there is still an element of risk
involved. One of the ways you can reduce the chances of anything going wrong is
to choose the right surgeon. A knowledgeable and experienced heart surgeon can
make the necessary repairs while reducing the chances of complications occurring
during the surgery. Here are a few tips for picking the right doctor.
Your primary care physician will most likely refer you to who they think is the best
surgeon for the valve surgery. However, don't feel as though you are constrained
by their recommendation. You are free to shop around. Keep in mind, though,
that if you will be using insurance that you should confirm the insurance company
will pay the doctor you ultimately choose. Most insurance companies work with a
network of doctors and it is a good idea to call your provider to get a list of heart
surgeons who are covered by your policy.
Prior to scheduling your valve surgery, meet with the heart surgeon for a
consultation. Take this time to ask the doctor questions about their experience in
the type of surgery you are having. You want someone who is knowledgeable and
has had plenty of experience in this area. Ask them how long they have been
performing surgeries like yours, how many procedures they perform every year,
and whether there is any new technology they may be using to ensure your
surgery is successful. There should also be a discussion about your recovery and
any follow-up visits that may be necessary.
Other things to consider about your heart surgeon is whether they are board
certified, where they received their education from, and if they have had any
malpractice lawsuits filed against them. Lastly, determine what kind of hospital
they are working in. If it is a learning hospital then a resident may be assisting
with the surgery or performing it under the supervision of the primary surgeon.
Clarify all the details involving your valve surgery. This is also a good time to gauge
the doctor's "bedside manner". You should feel comfortable with the doctor. They
will be performing a life saving surgery on you. Therefore, you should feel
confident that you are in good hands.