The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, Patient Education Site

Thyroid surgery: Importance of surgeon's experience

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The importance of the surgeon's experience: How do I find an experienced surgeon?

Research has proven that the chance of having a safe and successful parathyroidParathyroid - 4 little glands that are located by the thyroid and regulate calcium surgery depends on the experience of the surgeon. In general, a surgeon should do more than 50 parathyroid operations a year to be considered an expert. Patients should not be shy or embarrassed to ask how many of a certain type of operation a surgeon has done and what their personal complication rate is. These are two of the best indications that a surgeon is experienced and safe. An experienced surgeon will expect you to ask these questions and should not be offended or threatened by them. In general, you should be wary of a surgeon who makes extravagant claims about their experience and success or makes insulting comments about other surgeons or physicians. A patient's endocrinologist or primary care team will likely be able to give recommendations for good surgeons in the area. Click here for other resources to help you find an experienced endocrine surgeon in your area.

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