Ear, nose, and throat surgeons are uniquely well-versed in operating on all the structures of the head and neck.Â The number of surgeons who count themselves in this specialty area has grown to be in the tens of thousands in the US alone.Â So how is the uninformed patient to decide, from amidst that overwhelming surplus of options, which ear, nose and throat surgeon is the best fit for him- or herself?Â Here are a few starting tips to get you on your way to walking into the operating room:
Safety in Specialties
Compared to structures such as the shoulder, hip, and spine, the ear, nose, and throat seem small. Â However, their size belies a level of complexity hidden within, and so it is that even this physically small area of the body is comprised of a dizzying assortment of tissues, nerves, airways, and blood vessels.Â The composition of the nose and that of the inner ear are nothing alike; you might shy away from choosing a surgeon who specializes in the former if the operation you need is for the latter.Â One of the best ways to go about searching for an ear, nose or throat surgeon is to pick from among those who specialize specifically in the procedure that you need.
Look for a surgeon who has not only received degrees and accreditation in his or her specialty area, but who has also continued to make use of the most up-to-date technology and techniques available.Â A perusal of his or her recent operation history should reveal numerous procedures similar too, or better yet, of the exact same type as, the one that interests you.Â Experience, more than almost anything else, is the best predictor of a surgeonâ€™s abilities.
With the type of ear, nose and throat surgeon that you want in mind, a great resource from which to begin your search is a directory.Â Look to well-established organizations like the American Academy of Otolaryngology to provide a member list that you can trust.Â Simply by virtue of being accepted as members, the surgeons you find listed in these kinds of directories already come with a mini-background check done for you.Â Itâ€™s a simple and painless way to get started.
If the process of sifting through long lists and ticking choices off without ever seeing a surgeon face-to-face seems to be missing something, then you may want to begin your search with some word-of-mouth recommendations instead.Â You might turn to friends and coworkers who have had ear, nose, or throat surgery, or ask your personal physician to drop some names.Â Another ever-more-common phenomenon is the use of internet boards and chats to collect personal accounts from a wider variety of people than you may have access to physically.Â Word-of-mouth can be a wonderful way to reap information from eclectic sources, but remember that the most enthusiastic recommendation doesnâ€™t replace good, solid investigation on your
Last Updated: 02/23/2009
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