When it's time to choose an ileostomy specialist, you'll want the best. After all, the procedure is going to change your life. You may not have much, if any, experience with an ileostomy specialist before you actually need one, so you may not know where to start looking or how to narrow your options.
The following six characteristics can help you find a great ileostomy specialist:
1. Education At Respected Institutions
The schools with the best reputations have typically earned their accolades. Graduates of these schools may have been the top in their classes, and their education may have been more rigorous. Take a look at where your ileostomy specialist went to school to see whether these institutions are prestigious.
2. Additional Qualifications
Furthermore, take a look at residencies and fellowships, which are valuable opportunities for physicians to continue to expand their knowledge and develop their skills. Hospital partnerships show that the hospital has faith in this specialist, and being a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) is another indication of being up-to-date in the field.
3. Desirable Philosophy Of Care
Ask your potential ileostomy specialist about his or her approach to patient care, and see if you like the answer. You might look for a promise that patients come first, and all patients receive individualized care.
4. Dedication To Your Well-Being
In addition to being able to state a positive philosophy of care, look for signs that your ileostomy specialist actually puts this philosophy into practice. Does the physician require you to have an appointment before scheduling your ileostomy, or is he or she willing to just operate on anyone, without asking questions?
You can also find out about practices such as how long to expect to wait to receive a call back when you have a question, and how often the surgeon will check up on you in the hospital after your ileostomy. Finally, follow-up care for months after your surgery shows a dedication to your recovery and quality of life.
5. Good Reviews And Ratings
A good reputation says a lot. Ask your own primary care physician for a referral, and talk to your acquaintances to see if they have any first-hand experience with any particular ileostomy experience. You can also check online ratings and reviews.
6. Expertise In The Procedure You Need
A good ileostomy specialist truly is just that – a specialist. That means the physician spends most of the time doing ileostomies, not other types of surgery or primary care. That way, you know the physician is focused and experienced.
You also want to make sure the specialist is comfortable performing the type of procedure you want, whether it is a conventional or Brooke ileostomy, a J-pouch, or a Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir (BCIR).