I worried about the same issue in 2015 when I needed bypass surgery. I live in Tucson. First of all, when I was given a name of a cardiac surgeon, I checked with my PCP and any online info I could find, asking about and looking for specifics about the surgeon. He was highly rated here. I debated going to Stanford, Cleveland, or Mayo, and if the info here had not been favorable, I would have considered one of those, but that would have meant another round (several rounds) of research. Not living in those areas made that a little more difficult because I could only count on the reputation of those facilities, which is very good of course. We (my wife and I) scheduled an interview with the surgeon himself to ask him very pointed questions (e.g., his experience, how many surgeries, failure rate, exactly what he planned to do, etc). We felt, with all the good comments about him and the interview itself that it was an acceptable risk to stay here in Tucson, which does have a number of excellent hospitals. I also worried about possible post-operative complications, which would mean having to travel back to another facility rather than going to a local doctor or surgeon. And as a matter of fact, I did have post-surgery complications and had to reenter the hospital two separate times–nothing life threatening but scary given what I had just been thru. It's a tough decision, but I certainly recommend using every resource to narrow it down, after considering what's important to you (besides success of course), like easy follow-up care, doctor continuity for any/all follow up, etc.