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Once you have been professionally diagnosed with transient ischemic attacks (TIA), you need to find a doctor who can provide excellent care. Surgical treatments for TIA include carotid angioplasty (a balloon-like device implanted in the brain to keep arteries open) and carotid endarterectomy (a preventative surgery that removes fatty deposits from clogged arteries so blood can flow without restriction.)

Since you may need surgery to treat your TIA, you should follow these five steps for finding the right doctor. By following these steps, you help ensure that you have a positive experience and receive a treatment that prevents future mini-strokes.

Talk to Family Members and Friends to Get Referrals

If you know anyone who has undergone treatment for TIA, you may want to start looking for a doctor by talking to that person about his or her experiences. Friends and family members can offer exceptional insight into a doctor’s level of experience, bedside manner and other factors that may influence your decision.

You could have some difficulty finding someone who has undergone treatments for TIA. If no one in your immediate social circle has seen a doctor about TIA treatments, then you may need to expand your search. You can reach out to TIA support groups to meet new people who can share information with you. If you can’t find a support group in your area, contact online groups. One of them may have a nearby contact who can help.

Contact Your Insurance Company for Referrals

Since your health insurance provider likely works with millions of patients, there is a good chance that you could get reliable information from the company. Talking to a representative from your insurance provider will also help you narrow your choices to in-network doctors. Insurance companies are more likely to cover your treatment for TIA if you choose an in-network doctor.

Keep in mind that some insurance companies will pay more attention to treatment prices than patient outcomes. They often choose doctors because they work with healthcare organizations with connections to the insurance companies. Still, it’s a good idea to get a recommendation from your health insurance provider. This is especially true if you need your insurance policy to cover as much of the treatment’s cost as possible.

Read Online Review Sites to Learn More About Doctors

Several websites and mobile apps collect reviews from patients who want to share their experiences undergoing treatments with various doctors. Popular websites include Healthgrades, Vitals and ZocDoc. You can even read reviews about doctors on Yelp.

It’s important to understand that other people who need treatment for TIA may not share your expectations. You shouldn’t necessarily shy away from a doctor just because he or she has a few negative reviews. Instead, look at all of the reviews to get a consensus of how most people feel about a doctor. This approach will give you a more accurate view of a doctor’s abilities.

Do Some Independent Research

Although you can learn a lot from the experiences of other people, it makes sense to learn as much as possible about the surgeons in your area. Independent research may introduce you to doctors that your loved ones and acquaintances have not met.

You can learn a lot about a doctor by visiting his or her website. By visiting the websites of specialists who work in your area, you can learn more about the levels of experience that they have. Simply visiting a few sites will help you narrow your options by eliminating doctors who don’t specialize in treatments for TIA.

Meet the Doctor to Make a Decision

Once you have a short list of reliable, experienced doctors who treat TIA, you should feel free to schedule meetings with each one so you can learn more about them. A lot of patients want to consider more than just a doctor’s qualifications. They also want to meet the doctor to gauge his or her bedside manner.

People look for different things in their surgeons, so it’s important for you to feel comfortable letting a certain doctor provide a treatment for TIA. In the end, your perception matters more than what other people think. As long as the doctor you choose has several years of experience treating TIA and similar conditions, it makes sense for you to consider the surgeon’s personality when deciding who you perform your operation.

Choosing the right doctor for you takes a little bit of time and effort. Putting in the work, however, means that you will receive a treatment for TIA that addresses your unique needs and makes you feel as comfortable as possible during the process. In the end, finding a great doctor will help you avoid strokes, which is the most important aspect of TIA treatment.

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