How Do I Choose the Best Colon Specialist?
A colon specialist is a surgeon who specializes in treating colon cancer, colitis, diverticular disease and other disorders affecting the colon. The first step in finding a colon specialist is discussing all options with your primary care physician. Patients suffering from colon cancer can also begin their search by contacting a cancer treatment center in their area. For more alternatives, you can search for surgeons who belong to specialty associations dealing with the colon. Once you have found several specialists, make your choice based on his or her experience level, credentials, and ability to address your concerns.
After being diagnosed with a disease of the colon, you should first speak to your primary care physician about local o nearby specialists. He or she should be able to refer you to a respected colon specialist known to provide excellent care. If your physician does not have a specific recommendation, he or she should still be able to help you research suitable specialists.
If you have been diagnosed with colorectal or another type of colon cancer, you can also begin your search by contacting the closest cancer treatment center. Many of these centers employ surgeons who have experience with different types of colon cancer. If there is not a specialty cancer center in your area, contact local hospitals to determine whether they have a colon specialist.
To broaden your search, look for doctors that belong to specialty professional associations dedicated to colon disease. In the United States, the top colon specialists may join the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. There is a similar society in Canada, known as the Canadian Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Many other countries also have professional organizations composed of colon specialists.
Once you have compiled a list of possible specialists, evaluate these doctors on their experience and credentials. Ask about their certifications, education and other qualifications. Also ask about past experiences in dealing with colon surgeries and diseases. While specialists are not always preferable to general surgeons, these professionals tend to have more experience in dealing with complicated colon disorders. If you do choose a general surgeon, make sure that he or she has experience with your particular condition.
It is also important to find a colon specialist you trust. Choose a surgeon that is willing to answer all your questions and concerns. You need to trust that your doctor will make the right decisions regarding your care. To achieve that level of trust, select a specialist who takes the time to carefully explain your condition, treatment and prognosis.
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