DETROIT (WWJ) – Have you ever wondered what your surgeon’s track rate is, or how many of their patients didn’t make it through surgery?

It might be a grim thought, but it’s in your best interest as a patient to know the answers to these kinds of questions. A new website, SurgeonRatings.org, is making it easier than ever to find out which surgeons are better and which are best to avoid.

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Using medical records from 4 million major medical operations, the nonprofit group Consumers’ Checkbook created a database of individual surgeons based on
outcomes — how often their patients die in hospital or within 90 days of hospital discharge, have serious complications in hospital, or need to be readmitted to a hospital within 90 days of discharge.

Surgeons’ results are adjusted to take into account how frail or sick their patients were. Even after this adjustment, results vary dramatically from surgeon to surgeon.

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The website compares surgeons for 14 of the most important and high‐risk types of surgery, including heart valve and bypass surgery, various types of vascular surgery, major bowel surgery, spine surgery, pulmonary surgery, and total knee and hip replacement. It also identifies surgeons with better‐than‐average performance.

“We expect this new website to help many thousands of patients avoid unnecessary deaths and other bad outcomes and to help doctors improve,” Robert Krughoff, Consumers’ Checkbook president, said in a statement.

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The site also provides meaningful supporting information about the hospitals top performing surgeons use and how well those hospitals perform, how experienced surgeons are with specific procedures, whether they are recommended by other doctors, and more.