Can I Have Surgery At My Local Hospital?

Or Do I Need To Travel To A Large Referral Center?

Many local hospitals across the country provide excel-lent care that is convenient for both you and your family. Several factors are involved in making this decision, but in the end, most patients make this type of decision based on (1) family support and (2) institutional and physician expertise. If the closest referral center is far away, it may be difficult or impossible for your family and friends to be there to support you around the time of surgery.

With that being said, it is your surgery and your future that are on the line; thus, you need to be certain that you can still receive high-quality care at your local hospital. This is rarely a clear decision from a medical standpoint and will usually boil down to your comfort with both your urologist and the local hospital. If you would like to have surgery at your local hospital, it is important to be sure that the nursing staff is familiar and comfortable with the care that you will need after surgery or chemotherapy. The best and easiest way to assess this is to ask your doctor for the names and phone numbers of patients who have had the same treatments at that hospital and who would be willing to talk to you about their experiences.

Some patients may be concerned about going to a large referral center because they will be obligated to have residents (doctors in training) involved in their care. Although this is a valid concern, most patients find that these doctors in fact dramatically improve their care. Residents are at the hospital and are available to you 24 hours a day and are often able to spend more time with you than a local urologist who visits the hospital once a day. Again, talking to people who have had their treatment at that facility can provide valuable insight for you before making a decision.