Surgeries, whether it’s big or small. can be really overwhelming and scary. Having to think about the surgical procedure, the possible risks involved, length of recovery, and the cost can be stressful.
To make sure you completely understand what the medical procedure you are having involves, and to help you have more confidence in your physician, there are questions to ask your doctor about surgery. These include:
- What specific condition or part of my body is being treated with this procedure?
- What is the expected outcome if I choose not to have this procedure? This is also another important question to ask your surgeon. To be more specific, you can ask what your other options are for treatment. Ask what may or will happen if the surgery is not pushed through or if it’s not done at this time, can it be done some other day? Are there any consequences if the surgery is delayed or postponed?
- Questions to ask your doctor about surgery might include why the doctor is recommending the procedure. It’s important to ask your surgeon for a simple explanation of the surgery that you will undergo, as well as what techniques the surgeon will use, and why it should be performed. Another good question is why this specific operation was chosen over other possible alternatives.
- Are there any alternatives to this procedure or surgery? Sometimes, surgery is not the only option. It depends on what your condition is, maybe it’s possible that medication or conservative treatment can help.
- Questions to ask your doctor about surgery might include what the risks are, compared to the benefits of the procedure. As stated earlier, surgeries have their risks. It’s important to know what these risks are, as well as other problems, complications, or conditions that may arise during and after the procedure. You can ask if these complications and risks commonly arise, and if they do, how can they be treated.
- Are there other patients I can talk to who have had this or similar procedures?
- Questions to ask your doctor about surgery may be if there are long-term consequences associated with the procedure or surgery.
Some questions to ask your surgeon:
Some questions to ask your doctor about surgery might include those related to your surgeon. For example:
- How many times each year does the surgeon perform this procedure?
- Some questions to ask your doctor about surgery may include if the surgeon been fellowship-trained. This is especially vital in the case of a fusion.
- Some questions to ask your doctor about surgery might be about who will be assisting in your operation or procedure.
Questions to ask your doctor about surgery after you have decided to have surgery:
- What does the surgery involve?
- Another one of the questions to ask your doctor about surgery might be if the procedure will be done using microscopic surgical techniques or if it will be an open surgery, which requires a larger incision
- One of the questions to ask your doctor about surgery might be what type of anesthetic will be used during your surgery
- What are the potential risks and complications? How are these treated?
- Questions to ask your doctor about surgery might include if you will be required to take antibiotics after your operation
- Some questions to ask your doctor about surgery might be about how long you will have to stay in the hospital after your surgery or procedure.
- Questions to ask your doctor about surgery should include how much time it will possibly take you to rehabilitate. You may want to ask about exercises or physical therapy that will be recommended after surgery to help speed your recovery.
During your first consultation visit, your surgeon should suggest a second visit. This will give you time to consider your options and think about any other questions to ask your doctor about surgery. The time you spend consulting with a spine surgeon should be educational, and you should come away with answers to the questions you’ve asked.