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First Ever Surgeon Scorecard Spotlights Dr. Carey, SMH

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Sep/24/2015

Robert Carey, MDA Sarasota surgeon is ranked among the best in Florida for prostate removal in ProPublica’s first-ever Surgeon Scorecard.

The nonprofit news organization used Medicare data from 2009-2013 to calculate complication rates for nearly 17,000 surgeons operating at 3,575 hospitals nationwide in eight common elective surgeries.

When it came to radical prostatectomy (prostate removal), local Urologic Surgeon Robert Carey, MD, was the highest rated surgeon with the lowest adjusted complication rates in the state in his subspecialty. His score also boosted Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where he performs the highest volume of cases, to the top of the state chart.  

Dr. Carey, who heads Sarasota Memorial’s Robotic Uro-Gyn Epicenter and trains surgeons from across the nation in specialized robotic surgical techniques, had the lowest adjusted complication rates for prostate removals in Florida – just 2 percent, according to the online database. Overall, complication rates across all surgeons ranged from 2 to 4 percent, depending on surgery type, according to the ProPublica analysis.

The study excluded non-elective cases (trauma, ER and other high-risk cases) more likely to result in complications beyond a surgeon’s control and used standardized methods to adjust for a patient’s age and health and overall performance of each hospital. The searchable database – independent of any physician or hospital – is posted on the news outlet’s website: https://projects.propublica.org/surgeons/

Dr. Carey said ProPublica’s scorecard is a useful tool people can use to research and talk to physicians before scheduling elective surgeries, but he stressed that they also should review other quality measures, including the experience and outcomes of the hospital’s surgical team, when choosing where and from whom to receive care.

“The main benefit of this database is to help patients learn more about their surgeon and his or her success rates before an operation,” said Dr. Carey. “Experience counts, and I’m proud to say that the surgical results I am achieving with my patients are setting the standard not only in our local region, but also in the entire state of Florida.” 

For information about ProPublica’s Surgeon Scorecard, visit https://projects.propublica.org/surgeons/

About Robert I. Carey, M.D. Ph.D. 
A fellowship trained robotic surgeon, Dr. Carey came to Sarasota in 2006. He earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, as well as a Ph.D in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His cross training in medicine, surgery, science and engineering has been instrumental in allowing him to pioneer the field of robotic surgery for urologic oncology. A clinical associate professor for the Florida State University College of Medicine and consulting editor for the Journal of Robotic Surgery, Dr. Carey has been repeatedly been recognized for his expertise in robotic surgery. In 2014, he was selected by Intuitive Surgical, the maker of the da Vinci Surgical robot, as one of three national Epicenter sites for surgeon training in the United States.  As an Epicenter, Sarasota Memorial has been designated as a location where outside surgeons are encouraged to visit and observe how robotic surgery is performed for pelvic organ prolapse in women and prostate cancer in men. His practice is located adjacent to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital at 1921 Waldemere Street, Suite 310. 

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