So after asking everybody I know and querying forums, I finally got two referrals to a doc who does robotic surgery in my area. One was from someone on this forum, who very generously traded a few emails with me and was very forthcoming and helpful. The doc is a department head who's done over 800 robotic prostatectomies, and comes highly recommended by credible sounding people.
Then I find out he's being sued for allegedly letting students do ghost surgery for him, and (also allegedly) wasn't even in the room when a patient's prostatectomy was botched. That patient now claims to be permanently incontinent, although that probably happens one or two percent of the time with the best of surgeons.
Then I find out that somebody else has an internet vendetta against him for allegedly botching her son's kidney transplant through sheer (alleged) negligence and indifference. She's got her own website dedicated to trashing this doc's reputation.
I don't even know how to think about
this. The man practices at a teaching hospital, an internationally recognized center of excellence, so having young docs do some portions of the surgery just go with the territory, I guess. A complete surgery with little or no oversight is pretty far beyond the pale though, if true. The kidney transplant lady just kinda sounds like a raving lunatic, and centers of excellence do attract the most difficult cases, so I guess some percentage of surgeries are going to go badly.
So I'm left with the question: Do I go talk to this guy or run like hell? I guess I can start my search all over again, but yeesh! And I thought all I had to worry about