Do You See What I See?
December 08, 2013 – Emily Morrison
Pancreatic Cancer Advocates Unite
December 08, 2013 – Julie Fleshman
Pipeline
December 09, 2013 – Lindsay Ray
The Challenges of Distance Caregiving
December 09, 2013 – Jane Hill
Adult Siblings Often Coordinate Parental Support
December 09, 2013 – Jane Hill
What Could Cause Cognitive Dysfunction after Cancer?
December 09, 2013 – Kathy LaTour
Pharmacologic Approaches to Cognitive Dysfunction
December 09, 2013 – Kathy LaTour
Finding Solutions for Chemobrain
December 08, 2013 – Kathy LaTour
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after Childhood Cancer
December 09, 2013 – Don Vaughan
Late Effects & Premature Aging After Pediatric Cancer
December 09, 2013 – Don Vaughan
Health Problems Common in Survivors of Pediatric Cancer
December 09, 2013 – Don Vaughan
Post-Mastectomy Pain Hits a Nerve
December 09, 2013 – Lacey Marlow
Advances in Screening & Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer
December 09, 2013 – Roxanne Nelson
Changing Course in Pancreatic Cancer
December 09, 2013 – Roxanne Nelson
Tumor Evolution
December 08, 2013 – Katy Human
Solving the Treatment Resistance Riddle
December 09, 2013 – Katy Human
For Caregivers: Tips Before Planning that "End of Treatment" Party
December 09, 2013 – Charlotte Huff
Why Observing Treatment Milestones is an Individual Decision
December 09, 2013 – Charlotte Huff
Searching for an Oncology Surgeon
December 08, 2013 – Katherine Hobson
Is Robot-Assisted Surgery the Best Treatment for Your Cancer?
December 08, 2013 – Katherine Hobson
How I Lost My Uterus and Found My Voice
December 09, 2013 – Kathy LaTour
Personalized Medicine Should Include High-Quality, High-Value Care
December 09, 2013 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
Website Retooled to Help Visitors Navigate Medicare
December 08, 2013 – Jon Garinn
Poor Kidney Function a Possibility in Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer
December 09, 2013 – Katherine Lagomarsino
Dispatch: Society for Integrative Oncology's 10th Annual Meeting
December 09, 2013 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Reel Recovery Retreats
December 09, 2013 – Jon Garinn
Studies Confirm Effectiveness of Colorectal Cancer Screening
December 09, 2013 – Elizabeth Whittington
Michael Douglas Reveals He Had Tongue Cancer
December 09, 2013 – Lindsay Ray
Dose of Reality Effective at Stopping Smokers
December 09, 2013 – Lena Huang
FDA's Breakthrough Therapy Designation Aims to Speed Drug Approvals
December 08, 2013 – Susan Jenks
ASH Updates
December 08, 2013 – Elizabeth Whittington
Message From the Editor
December 09, 2013 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Letters From Readers
December 08, 2013
Do You See What I See?
December 08, 2013 – Emily Morrison
Pancreatic Cancer Advocates Unite
December 08, 2013 – Julie Fleshman
Pipeline
December 09, 2013 – Lindsay Ray
The Challenges of Distance Caregiving
December 09, 2013 – Jane Hill
Adult Siblings Often Coordinate Parental Support
December 09, 2013 – Jane Hill
What Could Cause Cognitive Dysfunction after Cancer?
December 09, 2013 – Kathy LaTour
Pharmacologic Approaches to Cognitive Dysfunction
December 09, 2013 – Kathy LaTour
Finding Solutions for Chemobrain
December 08, 2013 – Kathy LaTour
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after Childhood Cancer
December 09, 2013 – Don Vaughan
Late Effects & Premature Aging After Pediatric Cancer
December 09, 2013 – Don Vaughan
Health Problems Common in Survivors of Pediatric Cancer
December 09, 2013 – Don Vaughan
Post-Mastectomy Pain Hits a Nerve
December 09, 2013 – Lacey Marlow
Advances in Screening & Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer
December 09, 2013 – Roxanne Nelson
Changing Course in Pancreatic Cancer
December 09, 2013 – Roxanne Nelson
Tumor Evolution
December 08, 2013 – Katy Human
Solving the Treatment Resistance Riddle
December 09, 2013 – Katy Human
For Caregivers: Tips Before Planning that "End of Treatment" Party
December 09, 2013 – Charlotte Huff
Why Observing Treatment Milestones is an Individual Decision
December 09, 2013 – Charlotte Huff
Currently Viewing
Searching for an Oncology Surgeon
December 08, 2013 – Katherine Hobson
How I Lost My Uterus and Found My Voice
December 09, 2013 – Kathy LaTour
Personalized Medicine Should Include High-Quality, High-Value Care
December 09, 2013 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
Website Retooled to Help Visitors Navigate Medicare
December 08, 2013 – Jon Garinn
Poor Kidney Function a Possibility in Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer
December 09, 2013 – Katherine Lagomarsino
Dispatch: Society for Integrative Oncology's 10th Annual Meeting
December 09, 2013 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Reel Recovery Retreats
December 09, 2013 – Jon Garinn
Studies Confirm Effectiveness of Colorectal Cancer Screening
December 09, 2013 – Elizabeth Whittington
Michael Douglas Reveals He Had Tongue Cancer
December 09, 2013 – Lindsay Ray
Dose of Reality Effective at Stopping Smokers
December 09, 2013 – Lena Huang
FDA's Breakthrough Therapy Designation Aims to Speed Drug Approvals
December 08, 2013 – Susan Jenks
ASH Updates
December 08, 2013 – Elizabeth Whittington
Message From the Editor
December 09, 2013 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Letters From Readers
December 08, 2013
Whole Foods Help Against Cancer
December 07, 2013 – Jeanne Erdmann

Searching for an Oncology Surgeon

Experts emphasize that patients should search for the best surgeon, not just the one who uses a robot.

BY Katherine Hobson
PUBLISHED December 08, 2013

Experts emphasize that patients should search for the best surgeon, not just the one who uses a robot. Patients should begin by asking their primary care physician or oncologist for recommendations based on expertise, experience and track record. And if they know of other patients with the same disease, ask them about their experiences.

Martin Makary, a surgeon at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, suggests patients get thorough information on all of their surgical options—open, laparoscopic and robotic. To that end, it helps if a surgeon has been trained in and uses all three techniques, depending on the disease and the patient, says Jim Hu, director of urologic robotic and minimally invasive surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles. They should ask about if any research supports its use in particular cases.

As with all operations, the surgeon’s training and experience matter. Hu says indicators of an expert include fellowship training in robot-assisted surgery, publication articles, invited presentations on the topic and hosting fellowships. He also says having performed surgeries live online is an indicator of confidence and experience.

Furthermore, a good surgeon will answer questions, and patients shouldn’t hesitate to ask them, says Kirsten Greene, associate professor of urology at the University of California, San Francisco. Both the benefits and the risks should be reviewed for the specific situation. Patients should ask about the surgeon’s own outcomes with the procedure, including recurrence rates, the incidence of side effects and how many of a particular procedure the surgeon has performed successfully. There’s no agreed-upon number, but within reason, the more, the better, she says.

Be the first to discuss this article on CURE's forum. >>
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the General Discussions CURE discussion group.

Related Articles

1
×

Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!
×

Sign Up

Are you a member? Please Log In