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Is your health plan changeable? Do you have a yearly enrollment period with work (or could you wait until the next Obamacare enrollment) and could you change to a PPO plan? Just to get the surgery done.... Then go back to an HMO if you need to the following year.
Alternatively, you pay for the consultation at Hopkins out of pocket or another great center (ex. MD Anderson) and if they recommend surgery, you ask them to recommend someone local for you. If they can't strongly recommend someone, ask them where you should go.
My heart truly goes out to New Orleans for what they have suffered through. Unfortunately the devastation decimated their hospitals/training programs and they lost a lot of good people. You should not have your surgery done by someone who can't immediately tell you how many Whipples they have done that year, and their statistics. Your gut feeling is likely correct. Handwaving and saying their results are the same as the famous places is just.... fibbing.
It can be extremely uncomfortable talking with some of these surgeons. I
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