1. Personal recommendations – it is important if you know someone who has been treated by a consultant as their experience can inform your decision.
2. GP or specialist recommendations – it is helpful to ask to be referred to the best person in your area for the operation, not the one closest or the one with a shortest waiting time.
3. Web search – you can search for specialists on-line but this may not produce independent information.
Questions you could ask about or directly to your consultant/specialist:
- What is the level or degree of specialisation they have in the area you need treatment for?
- How many years experience they have with this treatment?
- How many of these procedures have they performed?
- What are their success and complication rates and are these personal or general published figures?
A more experienced operator is far more likely to achieve success in your case at the minimum risk. Someone who does many different procedures or whose principle interest is in a different area is likely to have less experience in the specific area you need.