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How to Select a Surgeon

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:43 pm
by Coyote
I have recently completed chemo/radiation for a rectal adenocarcinoma. I am scheduled for an endoscopy in the middle of September where I find out how successful the treatments were. While I'm praying for a "complete response" I want to make contact with a surgeon in advance in case that is the next step. My tumor was low, so I am looking for a sphincter sparing specialist. I live in the Pacific Northwest but am willing to travel.
It seems like a good idea to find someone on the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery but if they have a lot of experience (and success) that might not be a requirement.
Any suggestions on how to find the right surgeon?

Re: How to Select a Surgeon

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:28 pm
by Teddi
I think that you are on the right track. Ask around, and find someone who specializes in sphincter sparing surgery. I would definitely go with a board certified colorectal surgeon. My surgeon works at UC Irvine, and he is has been doing robotic colorectal surgeries since 2004. My tumor was about as low as could be resected, and he pulled it off. Dr. Alessio Pigazzi is his name if you search you can look him up. I'm sure there are many qualified surgeons, good luck!


Re: How to Select a Surgeon

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:55 am
by Lee
I agree, go with a board certified colon rectal surgeon. Maybe visit with a few a different surgeons and see if one stands out for you.

Best of luck,


Re: How to Select a Surgeon

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:20 pm
by Jacques
You can use the Internet to evaluate Board-Certified colorectal surgeons in your area.

  • Step 1. Evaluate Board Certified colorectal surgeons in your area. To do this, you can access the website and put in your search criteria.

    The website is here:

    In the box “Specialty”, select the option “Colon & Rectal Surgery"
    In the box "Dr. Last Name" type the doctor's last name. **
    Leave the other boxes blank; they are not required.

    Press the FIND MY DOCTOR button.

    After you have pressed the FIND MY DOCTOR button, the results will appear on the screen. Your doctor's name should be displayed if he/she has been board certified in this particular specialty. Keep in mind that the doctor might in fact be Board Certified, but in a different specialty.

    P.S. The same procedure above can be used to search for other kinds of board-certified doctors. Some of the relevant available specialties are:

    • Medical oncology
    • Radiation oncology
    • Gastroenterology
    • Family Medicine

** Note: A doctor's certification might be registered under a different name (maiden name, or married name, for example) or under a different location (city or state).

Re: How to Select a Surgeon

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:26 am
by MrPleistocene
I always liked to get at least two doctors to say the same thing if I was doing something irreversible. No good surgeon will be offended if you get a second opinion. It gave me a nice slice of piece of mind.

Re: How to Select a Surgeon

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:00 pm
by Coyote
Thank you, Jacques for the detailed guidance. I sure that I am not the only one who will benefit from your post.
There are many certified surgeons who look well-qualified.
I remain open to suggestions.