LAUREN S. CASSELL M.D., F.A.C.S.
Chief of Breast Surgery, Emeritus - Northwell Health/Lenox Hill Hospital
When you choose your breast surgeon you are choosing a partner for a long term journey. Surgery is just the first step in a relationship that extends for many years including regular follow ups and screening.
we are DIFFERENT
Over the past decade there have been dramatic changes in the way medical care is delivered. Patients that would have spent a week in the hospital are often out the same day and the relationship between the doctor and patient can be much less intimate. This is not the case with Dr. Cassell.
Just as no two patients are alike, each patient should understand the different treatment options and decide which is best for them.
There are many variables to consider when choosing a breast surgeon. The most obvious among these is the degree of specialization and the amount of experience that a particular surgeon possesses. For the patient looking for a surgeon this involves asking a few simple questions:
Is the surgeon Board Certified? Board Certification by the American Board of Surgeons means that the surgeon has demonstrated knowledge and experience that qualifies her for this designation. Certification is granted based upon a rigorous review of the physicians practice background, surgical cases performed, and extensive testing. Board Certification requires continuing education and recertification via application and testing every 10 years.
Acceptance into the American College of Surgeons distinguishes the surgeon to an even higher level. Admission to this society is limited to the most qualified and respected physicians in their surgical fields.
Does the surgeon limit her practice to the breast or does the physician maintain a full general-surgical practice? In New York City patients are fortunate in that they can seek out a surgeon that limits her practice exclusively to the breast. As in most situations, the more one focuses on one area of expertise the more proficient one becomes.
Does the surgeon practice in an academic environment? Being part of an academic/teaching institution raises the standards to which a surgeon must perform. Continuing education, teaching, research, medical trials, publications are part of the academic environment and factors that constantly challenge the surgeon to remain at the top of her game.
Do I feel a personal connection to the physician? The doctor-patient relationship assumes different levels of importance for different medical conditions. Your relationship with your breast surgeon will likely span many years. For this reason choosing a surgeon with whom you feel that you can "connect" becomes especially important.
Among other considerations in choosing your physician are:
What are some of the important questions regarding surgical treatment, setting, and timing?
Will the office team navigate me through the process?
What can I expect regarding post-surgical follow up and recovery?
Have I considered long term follow up and patient monitoring concerns?
Do I have the proper information regarding the cost of services and insurance issues?