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More important, using a local doctor vs the best doctor anywhere?

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After years of considering surgery I've now reached the point where I can financially go ahead without cost being an issue. Now I'm trying to determine if it's important to live near the surgeon who performs the procedure or if that shouldn't be a major factor.

I live in the middle of the country near Memphis, TN and haven't found a surgeon in my area who seems to have extensive experience. I'm in my mid thirties and am fairly fit(also fairly not as fit as I'd like to be)but have what I consider mid level "overall" gyno which started developing at puberty. It's definitely not a light case and I want to make sure that whoever I go with does good work and has a lot of experience.

My question is this. If I don't use someone local is it necessary to travel back to the doctor I choose for post-op follow up several weeks after the procedure? Additionally, would I be able to travel back home 4-5 days after the procedure, even if it's from the east or west coast?

Also, I'm curious if the doctors on this board would give your opinions on who you would choose(from any doctor anywhere) to perform this surgery on you if you were to undergo it. Feel free to send me a private message if you don't want to post your answer to this last question and I'll honor that confidentiality.)

Thank you for your help and I look forward to your responses.

Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/smf/index.php?topic=25074.0


Offline Litlriki

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Re: More important, using a local doctor vs the best doctor anywhere?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2012, 11:05:47 PM »
Many of the surgeons who provide feedback on this site see patients from around the country and around the world, but of course, each case is unique, and it's really only possible to provide some general information about travel for your surgery. 

First off, a very important element in choosing your surgeon is your confidence in his or her skills combined with the rapport you develop through the course of your consultation and surgical planning.  In the best case scenario, the surgery will go without a hitch, and your interaction will be limited to the pre-operative consultation, the surgery and brief period post-operative period and hopefully, a few post-operative "visits" via e-mail or Skype.  In the worst case, if you require any sort of touch-up procedure or other post-operative management, it's nice to feel good about the surgeon, rather than dreading each interaction. Of course, the potential need for follow-up management is one reason for trying to stay close to home, but that is dependent on finding a surgeon you like.

Logistically, I like to have my patients arrive the day before surgery and plan to stay for several days post-operatively, so returning home 4 - 5 days post-operatively is no problem.  It's not essential that they return for follow up as long as they're not having issues.  Digital photos or follow up on Skype can help alleviate the need for travel back to Boston. 

You will likely have to explore your options with various surgeons privately, and you can certainly e-mail me directly for additional information. Good luck.

Rick Silverman

Dr. Silverman, M.D.
Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
29 Crafts Street
Suite 370
Newton, MA 02458

Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

Re: More important, using a local doctor vs the best doctor anywhere?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2012, 09:59:44 PM »
My approach to out of town patients is very similar to that of Dr. Silverman.

I initially do an email consultation with exchange of medical info and a series of photos.  Often when possible, a phone discussion is next.  I always request the patient arrive at least one day prior to surgery so that I can examine him, confirm the diagnosis and treatment plan and answer many questions.

I request that patients remain in the NYC area for at least several days after surgery.  And then, follow up can be done with email, Skype, digital photos, etc.  Very rarely is a return trip necessary, unless there has been some growth of scar tissue.  In those cases, I administer the cortisone injection for free -- I consider it part of the entire treatment protocol.

Dr Jacobs
Dr. Jacobs 
Certified: American Board of Plastic Surgery
Fellow: American College of Surgeons
Practice sub-specialty in Gynecomastia Surgery
815 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10021
Telephone:  (212) 570-6080
Email:  dr.j@elliotjacobsmd.com
Website:  http://www.gynecomastiasurgery.com
Website:  http://www.gynecomastianewyork.com/revi

Re: More important, using a local doctor vs the best doctor anywhere?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2012, 05:36:47 PM »
Thank you both for taking the time to reply to my questions. I greatly appreciate it. I hadn't even thought about the ability to Skype post-op (or pre-op).

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