First, phone the department that'll handle your surgery, and ask a nurse for her opinion (if you can do this face to face, maybe when visiting a friend or relative, all the better). The nurse will know the idiosyncrasies of the different surgeons, and with some gentle and tactful smart-patient questioning, she'll hint at which one she'd rather take a scalpel to her.
Secondly, ask an anesthesiologist. If you phone the hospital's operating room between 3 and 5 p.m. on a weekday, there's a good chance you'll find an anesthesiologist who's free. As you did with the nurse, say that you're about to undergo the specific surgery, and ask which surgeon the anesthesiologist would opt for if his or her abdomen were going on the table. Anesthesiologists see every surgeon in action, and they know who's most careful.
Find out more about this book:YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment