how to find best surgeons

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Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 7/28/2012 7:39 AM (GMT -6)   
I just wondered if anyone had put together a list of the best thoracic surgeons, or surgeons that work on GI systems. I have talked to 2 thoracic surgeons, both very well regarded in our large metro area, and they gave me 2 different answers regarding paraesophageal hernia type 4 surgery. One wants to do an open procedure for a Collus-nissen fundo. The other surgeon wants to do nissen fundo by laparoscopy. Can anyone recommend a website to look for highly qualified surgeons for this type of procedure?

Thanks, Deb

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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 7/28/2012 10:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Deb,
The care you're taking in deciding on a surgeon is commendable.  Too often people jump into the surgery without researching to ensure that they find the finest Nissen surgeon possible.
A lot depends on where you live.  If you're near a big center with a high rating for GI issues, that's obviously the place to go.  If you live far from these types of hospitals, then you need to consider how much experience each surgeon has in doing Nissen fundoplication procedures.
The rule of thumb is 300+ procedures at a minimum (in a smaller city), and more if possible.  Obviously, surgeons in bigger metropolitan areas are more likely to have many more Nissens under their belts...1000 or more, often.
The thing matter how good the surgeon is generally--they can outstanding--that doesn't necessarily translate into a good Nissen outcome.  The procedure is an art form, and it takes a lot of practice and experience.
This is the thing about laproscopic Nissens...originally (50+ years ago), Nissens were done as an open procedure.  When laproscopic procedures became perfected, Nissens were most often done as a lap procedure (redo Nissens are more likely to be open, but even then it's not a definite).  From what I've read as I've researched the topic for several years, the positive thing about the fact that Nissens have generaly moved from open to laproscopic procedures is that they are now done by fewer surgeons, and those surgeons have more procedures and because of that, have developed more experience and expertise.
I can't overemphasize the importance of choosing a surgeon who is highly experienced and skilled in the Nissen fundoplication surgery.  The many negative outcomes you read about on the internet are generally a result of surgeries done by surgeons without the prerequisite experience doing Nissens.
Good luck with your search.  This forum is a great resource, so stick around!  I'm sure others will be by soon to offer their opinions and share their experience!
Best wishes,
Words of wisdom by Eckhart Tolle:
"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
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