Surgery can be a scary experience. Even if you’ve been through surgery before or the surgery is supposed to be a small routine surgery, it is still nerve-racking. Knowing everything you can about the surgery can help you to understand and be calm, but there’s more benefits to knowing than mental health. Studies among many medical professions show that patients who understand their treatment and recovery are more likely to have better outcomes and improvement. Here’s 5 questions to ask your orthopedic surgeon before you have surgery. Asking these questions may bring you more peace of mind going into surgery.
1. What is the surgery?
More than just a name, you need to know exactly what will happen during the procedure, from what steps will be taken, what materials will be used, and if there are any materials you should or can read about your surgery.
2. Are there alternatives?
While it’s likely that alternatives were already considered, it isn’t a bad idea to confirm that there aren’t other options. You can also ask for a second opinion. Good doctors that have eliminated all other options in the process will have no problem offering up options on who to seek for a second opinion.
3. What are the benefits and risks of this surgery?
Just as important as knowing the procedure, the benefits and risks are important to consider. It’s important to ask your surgeon about the typical complications, how they are likely to occur, and when they occur. To properly weigh your options, you should also know the benefits of the procedure in terms of relieving pain and increasing function and mobility.
4. What is needed before the surgery?
Often before surgery, they need to do last minute tests and evaluations to confirm that you are at your healthiest. Doctors will often tell you where and when you need to do the pre-tests. Along with tests, they often prescribe special cleansers for you to shower with the night and morning before. Finally, the anesthesia is often administered right before the surgery. Just like the surgery itself, the anesthesia poses potential risks. They need to know your information just like your surgeon does.
5. What should I expect after surgery? What will be my recovery time?
After the surgery is complete, there’s, of course, the post-op. You’ll need to know what your limitations on movement and lifting will be. Also, there will likely be some pain, and you’ll need to know the pain plan and how it might be controlled. On the same note, you need to know aftercare such as assistance, discharge instructions, whether you will need physical therapy, and when you can resume regular activity.
If you have a surgery coming up, keep these questions in mind and make sure to understand your procedure and care.
This article is brought to you by Dr. Brandon Downs. Dr. Downs can help you
understand your pain and if surgery is right for you. Find Dr.Downs at:
Hughston Clinic Orthopaedics, Centennial Medical Center in the Physician’s Park Building 2400 Patterson Street Suite 300, Nashville, Tn 37203 (615) 342-6300 Hughston.com and Orthopaedic Specialists, 415 Henslee Drive in the Creekside Center, Dickson, Tn 37055 (615) 375-8287, Orthopaedicspecialists.com.