Researching Lap Band Doctors

Researching lap band doctors is essential before committing to surgery abroad, because qualifications vary widely from country to country. For such a major operation, there are so many options that it is difficult to know where to start. There are thousands of doctors offering their services and choosing the best one can be a very stressful experience.

The main thing to remember is that there are good and bad surgeons all over the world, including the US and Europe, so be careful not to assume that things are any better in your own country. The same research and attention to detail should be followed wherever you have the procedure, because any type of surgery carries some risks.

Some countries are have a good reputation for performing this kind of procedure, and a general search on the internet will allow you to begin constructing a short-list of potential destinations. Whilst it is nice to combine surgery with a nice vacation, remember that you will be undergoing a tricky procedure and the quality of service must always come first.

The first place to start is by looking at the website of the hospital or surgeon as it will give you concise information about the procedure and qualifications of the medical team. Do not be tempted to take everything literally, as it is all too easy for them to be economical with the truth. For example, the patient testimonials found on many websites have often been hand picked to provide you with a rosy picture of the doctor and facilities.

Looking at the general accreditations of the facility is useful; whether the hospital is JCI accredited or has been approved by the relevant local authorities. Look at how well rated local qualifications are, with some countries having more stringent controls than others do. Remember that these accreditations are only ever a guide, with many bad hospitals having certifications and many good ones without.

The next stage is lateral research, looking for other reviews online about the quality of the services provided, trying to find some of the better quality medical review and discussion sites. Again, be wary, as some unscrupulous businesses pay people to post positive reviews online. Trust your instincts, as there always seems to be something ‘strange’ about such postings.

Look out for reviews of a certain doctor that are spread across many forums and review sites. If a reviewer praises their doctor but refuses to accept that anyone else’s is good, then they are probably a plant. It may seem a little difficult to filter out the rubbish, but practice and experience will soon allow you to trust your instincts and spot unreliable reviews.

Bad reviews can also be misleading; if a hospital performs thousands of procedures every year, simple statistics dictates that there will be some bad experiences. In addition, whilst rarer nowadays, there was a campaign by some US institutions to discredit foreign hospitals and prevent you going.  Be meticulous in your research, even if it means spending three solid days online, looking at review sites

If you have any doubts, personal message some of the reviewers on the site and ask them to elaborate. Most of them are only too happy to help somebody in the same position as them and may have some useful advice.

Make the phone calls to the doctor and ask him the tough questions, about how many procedures he has performed, and what brand of band he used. Another quick call to the manufacturer will verify this as all sales of bands must be documented. If there is any discrepancy in the figures then look elsewhere.

If the doctor claims to have qualifications, phone the relevant bodies and double check. They are very forthcoming with the information and would be very interested if a doctor was falsely claiming to be certified.

Look for the experience of the surgeon in the exact area of expertise, how many lap bands they have fitted and whether they are specialists in gastric surgery. You are looking to build a good rapport with the surgeon, because you may require surgery that is more complex later on. If this turns out to be the case, it is preferable to go back to the surgeon who fitted the band in the first place, so you want somebody skilled in the more complex procedures.

Price should be the final consideration for any medical procedure, remembering that you are looking for value for money, not cheap. If the price seems much lower than the national average, then look elsewhere as they are probably cutting corners.

Likewise, more expensive options are usually not worth looking at. For an aesthetic plastic surgeon, you are paying for the artistic skill of the surgeon, with the best charging premium rates. For a lap band, you just want somebody to do a good quality job, so why pay over the odds?

When the procedure is over, help the people following you. If you have followed these steps then you should have had a good experience, so post it on all the medical review forums you can think of. You should give honest feedback to the hospital or surgeon, about what was good and what was bad.

If you spend time on researching the various options for your hip replacement, then you will be able to join the millions of people who have traveled abroad for treatment without mishap. Trust your instincts, and if something does not seem right, then walk away and look for somewhere else.