According to the American College of Surgeons, the best surgery experiences occur with well-informed patients. You should know why you’re having the procedure, what the procedure is and all about the recovery process. The more you know, the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel before and after the surgery.
To assist you in preparing, the following are important questions to ask the surgeon before scheduling surgery.
- Why do I need this surgery?
- What does the surgery entail?
- Are there other treatment options, or is this the only option?
- What are the risks, benefits and possible complications? Will my health history and the medications I am currently taking change my risk level? Complications? Benefits?
- What are the anesthesia options? What is best for me considering my health history, prescription medications and vitamins/herbs? What sort of monitoring occurs during the surgery?
- What can I expect before the procedure? What preparation is necessary? (i.e. tests, blood donation, change in medication, etc.)? When should I stop eating and drinking? Do I need to have a special diet?
- Should I take my home medication on the day of the procedure?
- What can I expect for my recovery in terms of treatment, medication, diet and home care? When can I return to my regular activities (work, lifting, driving and exercise)? What medication will I need (i.e. antibiotics, pain medication, etc.)? What can I do to speed up my recovery?
- What kind of experience do you have with this particular surgical procedure? Do you perform this surgery often? How often are there complications? What is the success rate?
- How much will the operation financially cost me out of pocket, beyond what the insurance pays?