According to the American College of Surgeons, the best way to go through any surgery is educate yourself and to be completely informed of all aspects associated with your procedure. The more knowledgeable you are the more confident and comfortable you’ll feel before and after the surgery.
Sometimes, the realization that surgery is required can be an overwhelming experience. To help you better prepare, the following are key questions you should ask your surgeon before scheduling your surgery.
- Why do I need this procedure?
- How will the surgery be performed?
- Are there other treatment options, or is this procedure the best option for me?
- What are the risks, benefits and possible complications of this surgical procedure? Will my health history and the medications I am currently taking change the level of risks, possible complications and benefits?
- What are my anesthesia options? What kind of anesthesia is best for me considering my health history, prescription medications and vitamins/herbs? How will I be monitored during the procedure?
- What can I expect before the surgery? Is any special preparation necessary (i.e. tests, blood donation, change in medication, etc.)? Will I need a special diet? When do I have to stop eating and/or drinking? Should I take my home medication on the day of my operation?
- What can I expect for my recovery in terms of treatment, medication, diet and home care? When will I be able to return to my regular activities (work, lifting, driving and exercise)? Will I need any special medication (i.e. antibiotics, pain medication, etc.)? What can I do to help my own recovery?
- Could you tell me about your experience with this particular surgical procedure? Do you perform this procedure frequently? What is your success rate, and how often do your patients experience any issues?
- How much will the operation financially cost me, over and above anything paid by my insurance plan?