I think there are two aspects of this, experience and excellence. Of course one does not always follow the other so it is necessary, IMO, for the patient to do his due diligence on both.
In the case of experience, there are studies (previously posted on this forum) that show more successful surgical outcomes with 250+ procedures. It is fairly easy, IMO, to discern whether or not your physician has the requisite number of procedures. I think it is a rare doc who will lie about the number of operations he or she has performed and this can usualy be confirmed by the office staff. So, number one, make sure the doc has the requisite experiece level.
Excellence is the obviously more difficult area as the statistics are usually non-existent and, even if they are, they can be misleading (e.g. one pad per day = continence). So, one needs to work a little harder in this area. "Brand name" certainly is an indicator. There are known experts who have been acknowledged by their peers and choosing one of them increases your odds of success. However, there are also ways to find other highly competent physicians. John mentioned references from other physicians, e.g. "who would you choose for your procedure?". Also, nurses and other health related professionals usually know about local reputation. Personally I reached out not only to my PCP, but to neighbors, old friends and anyone else who could confirm or deny my personal feelings about my chosen physician.
I guess my point is that there is nothing one can do to "always" insure success. But, there is a lot one can do to increase the odds and that is the service we can provide to newbies who are in search mode.
Age 62 (64 now), G 3 + 4 = 7, T1C, PSA 4.2, 2/16 cancerous, 27cc. Brachytherapy 12/9/08. 73 Iodine-125 seeds. Procedure went great, catheter out before I went home, only minor discomfort. Everything continues to function normally as of 9/10/10. 6 month PSA 1.4, 1 year PSA at 1.0. My docs are "delighted"! My journey: