Making the Cut: Why choosing the right surgeon matters even more than you knowJuly 14, 2015
In February 2012, LaVerne Stiles went to Citrus Memorial Hospital near her home in central Florida for what should have been a routine surgery.
The bubbly retired secretary had been in a minor car accident weeks earlier. She didn’t worry much about her sore neck until a scan detected a broken bone.
The operation she needed, a spinal fusion, is done tens of thousands of times a year without incident. Stiles, 71, had a choice of three specially trained surgeons at Citrus Memorial, which was rated among the top 100 nationally for spinal procedures. She had no way of knowing how much was riding on her decision. The doctor she chose, Constantine Toumbis, had one of the highest rates of complications in the country for spinal fusions. The other two doctors had rates among the lowest for postoperative problems like infections and internal bleeding. Read more