How to Select a Surgeon

Please feel free to read, share your thoughts, your stories and connect with others!
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:55 pm

How to Select a Surgeon

Postby Coyote » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:43 pm

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?
5/13 RCa Stage I, Age 51
7/15 CR to IMRT + Xeloda
9/16 Lung Mets
4/19 Capecitabine
8/19 PR to SBRT
11/20 New Lung Mets

Posts: 241
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:44 pm
Facebook Username: teddimcfarland

Re: How to Select a Surgeon

Postby Teddi » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:28 pm

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!

47 at diagnosis
Colonoscopy, biopsy, CT, PET 6/14
Rectal cancer (tentatively) Stage III-b, MSS
Xeloda and radiation 25x finished 8/14
FOLFOX 5 cycles
Surgery 1/23/14 ~ T1N0MX ~ temp illeostomy
FOLFOX 3 cycles = total of 8
Illeostomy reversal 4/8/15
Clean scans x2, clear colonoscopy 9/15

Posts: 6203
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: How to Select a Surgeon

Postby Lee » Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:55 am

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,

rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 16 years and counting!

User avatar
Posts: 581
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:38 am
Location: Occitanie

Re: How to Select a Surgeon

Postby Jacques » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:20 pm

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).
Last edited by Jacques on Wed Mar 10, 2021 5:35 am, edited 4 times in total.

Posts: 263
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:04 pm
Facebook Username: vinson.jim
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: How to Select a Surgeon

Postby MrPleistocene » Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:26 am

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.
DX 11/09 RC Stage IIIb
12/09 Chemorad w/Folfox
Surgery 4/10 LAR, Removed Seminal Vesicles
Clean Margins, T3N2M0, 4/19 Nodes
FOLFOX 6/10-11/10
6/10, 10/10, 1/11 Clean Scans, Normal CEA
12/10 Bi-Nephrostomy
12/10-2/11 HBOT
2/11 Reversal

Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:55 pm

Re: How to Select a Surgeon

Postby Coyote » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:00 pm

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.
5/13 RCa Stage I, Age 51
7/15 CR to IMRT + Xeloda
9/16 Lung Mets
4/19 Capecitabine
8/19 PR to SBRT
11/20 New Lung Mets

Return to “Colon Talk - Colon cancer (colorectal cancer) support forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: prayingforccr and 4 guests