Questions to Ask Your Surgeon


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  • Some Medical Advice

    Based upon the COST trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine pre-requisite experience should include a minimum of 20 laparoscopic colorectal resections for benign colon disease before using the technique to treat curable cancer.

    Patients interested in Laparoscopic or Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) should find a surgeon who is highly experienced. Numerous studies have shown that patient outcomes are diretly related to the experience of the surgeon.

    Following is a list of questions you should discuss with your surgeon to determine whether he/she is qualified to perform the procedure and if you are a likely candidate for this type of surgery.

    1. Are you board certified?

    • Dr. Pickron and Dr. Haas are board certified by the American College of Surgeons and American College of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.

    2. Do you routinely perform minimally invasive laparoscopic colon surgery in your practice?

    • Yes – We routinely perform several laparoscopic colon procedures each week.

    3. What percentage of your colon procedures do you perform open versus laparoscopically?

    • We perform over 90% of our procedures laparoscopically.

    4. How many laparoscopic colon surgeries have you performed overall?

    • At Colorectal Surgical Associates, we have performed over 200 laparoscopic colectomies since 2004 which makes us one of the highest volume practices in the country.

    5. What are the benefits of “minimally invasive” laparoscopic colon surgery?

    • Among the benefits, our patients recover sooner, require less pain medication, tolerate a diet and are discharged from the hospital earlier than patients undergoing open surgery.

    6. Am I a candidate for a laparoscopic colon procedure?

    • Nearly all patients are candidates for this procedure – even if you have had previous open abdominal procedures or have many medical diseases.

    7. What are the risks associated with this procedure?

    • As with any colon or general surgery there are several potential risks which we will discuss with you on an individual basis. However, we have seen significantly fewer risks with our patients following laparoscopic surgery – including a much reduced risk of wound infections.

    8. How often do you “convert” from a laparoscopic to an open surgery?

    • This refers to the situation where you begin the surgery laparoscopically and must convert to the open technique for various reasons. Our rate of conversion is less than 5%.

    9. What will my recovery time be like following this procedure?

    • Most of our patients are ready to leave the hospital in 3 or 4 days following surgery. This compares favorably to open surgery which usually requires 7 to 9 days. See After Surgery.

    10. Do you record your outcomes and review how you compare to the standards in the colorectal literature?

    • Yes. At CSA, we mainatain a prospective patient database which allows us to review and present our patient outcomes. We recently invited to present our data at TexMed 2006 – the annual meeting of the Texas Medical Association. Our outcomes have been very favourable with very low complication rates and compare well with published data from the Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.

    Schedule a Consultation at Colorectal Surgical Associates

    For more information, or to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons, please contact Colorectal Surgical Associates today.