Critical Questions to Ask your Surgeon

Critical Questions to Ask your SurgeonMillions of Americans have surgery each year, and well-informed patients tend to be more satisfied with the outcome of procedures. It is important to ask questions prior to any medical procedure. Ask your doctor to explain the answers clearly and ask for further clarification if you are having trouble understanding an explanation. Consider asking the following:

  • Why is the procedure needed? Ask your doctor to explain why this procedure is being recommended.
  • What are my alternatives? Are medications or nonsurgical treatments options for me?
  • What are the benefits of the surgery, and how long will they last? It is important to know the specific benefits for you. Also ask how long the benefits typically last.
  • What are the risks and possible complications? Surgery always carries some risks, so it is important to weigh the benefits against the risks.
  • What happens if you do not have the operation? If you decide not to have the operation, what will happen?
  • What is the doctor’s experience in doing this procedure? Choose a doctor who is thoroughly trained and experienced in doing the procedure. Ask about his or her experience with the procedure, including the number of times they’ve done it, and their record of successes, as well as complications.
  • Should I get a second opinion? Getting a second opinion can be an important step in ensuring that this option is right for you. (Of course, in the case of emergency surgeries, treatment should happen as quickly as possible. The necessity of getting a second opinion should always be weighed against the severity and urgency of the medical condition.)
  • What can I expect during recovery? You need to know how long you will be hospitalized and what limitations will be placed on you. Knowing ahead of time what to expect will help you to cope and recover more quickly following the surgery.

If you need an experienced General Surgeon, contact Dr. Johnson for a consultation.

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