MAKING YOUR OWN HEALTHCARE CHOICES
Courtesy Lakeshore Surgical Specialists, Northshore LIVING WELL Magazine
There is a good likelihood you will encounter the need for a general surgeon some time during your lifetime, whether as elective surgery or emergent. When given the opportunity, choosing a general surgeon is a privilege not to be taken lightly. While you may not have a long-lasting relationship with a general surgeon, as you do with your family physician, it is still a good idea to interview several candidates about their experience and get to know their personality. When considering elective surgery, it’s important to make a decision that is balanced between factual information, such as surgical experience, and the feedback you receive during an interview.
Most general surgeons are board certified, well versed in recognizing vast surgical needs and willing to share their experience with you. They will even make a recommendation for specialty services when necessary. General surgery is a discipline that requires knowledge of and familiarity with a broad spectrum of diseases.
General surgeons are the not-so-glamorous, modestly compensated workers of the surgical world. They are the people who take out gall bladders and appendixes, often in the middle of the night. They are the person you count on when you find yourself in the emergency room and that you take for granted will be there. There are less than 1,000 new general surgeons each year in the U.S., and there are 5,000 fewer general surgeons now than in 1981. So it’s important to get to know a surgeon today, one you can trust and one you have chosen for yourself.
For more than 30 years, Dr. Stephen Harkness has maintained a broad interest in traditional general surgery while also pursuing endoscopy, surgical care of breast diseases, surgical management of gastrointestinal and colorectal diseases, advanced laparoscopic surgery, hernia surgery and the surgical treatment of endocrine disease.
Dr. Harkness graduated from Southwestern at Memphis, now known as Rhodes College, and received his medical degree from Tulane School of Medicine in 1976. He completed a residency in general surgery, at both Charity Hospital and Tulane Medical Center in 1981. Dr. Harkness is a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons and holds a membership in the Louisiana State Medical Society. After practicing in New Orleans and Marathon, Florida, Dr. Harkness has returned to Louisiana to open his own practice, Lakeshore Surgical Specialists, located at 101 Judge Tanner Blvd., Suite 402, in Covington. He provides services for adult, adolescent and limited pediatric surgical needs.
Lakeshore Surgical Specialists can be reached at 985-892-8959.