Health Tip: Choosing the Right Surgeon

Here's what to look for

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(HealthDay News) -- Your doctor suggests you have an operation. But how do you go about finding a qualified surgeon?

If you or someone you know is considering surgery, The American College of Surgeons -- the largest international organization of surgeons -- recommends that you screen for the following qualifications:

  • Board Certification. A good indication of a surgeon's competence is certification by a surgical board that is approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
  • Association with an accredited hospital or outpatient surgery center. Your surgeon will arrange for your operation to be performed in a hospital where he or she has staff privileges. It is a good idea to make sure that the hospital has been accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
  • Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons. The letters FACS after a surgeon's name indicate that he or she is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Fellows of the College are almost always board-certified surgeons whose education, training, professional qualifications, surgical competence, and ethical conduct have been approved by the College.

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