I have several goals when I evaluate a patient.
In the course of the evaluation, I want to get a thorough understanding of the patient's symptoms, how the symptoms impact the patient's life, what their understanding of their condition is and what their treatment goals are.
I ensure that I have the knowledge and ability to provide the treatment that is needed, or I offer referrals to other appropriate providers.
I make sure that there is sufficient diagnostic information to make the correct treatment decision(s), or I make recommendations and help arrange additional testing.
I offer treatment recommendations that aim to
- ensure that the patient has a good grasp of their condition and has realistic expectations for their outcome
- minimize pain and maximize functional outcome
- follow widely accepted and validated treatments
- provide a balance between durable outcomes and the least disruptive surgical options that are reasonable
It is very important to me that my patients have as complete an understanding as is possible of what their condition involves, and what their reasonable treatment options are, even before any surgery takes place. I do not want to have patients who feel that they do not understand why they are having surgery.
Once surgery is decided on, my aim is to provide the best possible surgical care as well as close attention and treatment during recovery, in order to maximize the quality of the surgical outcome.