Frequently Asked Questions
What is the operation being recommended?
Your healthcare provider should clearly explain the surgical procedure, such as the steps involved and provide you with examples. You should ask if there are different methods for doing this operation and why he or she favors one way over another.
Why is the procedure needed?
Reasons to have surgery may vary from relieving or preventing pain to diagnosing a problem to improving body function. Ask your healthcare provider to specifically explain why this procedure is being recommended for you.
What are the benefits of the surgery and how long will they last?
It is important that your healthcare provider outline the specific benefits of having surgery for you. You should also ask how long the benefits typically last. Some benefits only last a short time, and could possibly need a second operation, while others may last a lifetime.
What are the risks and possible complications of having the operation?
Surgery always carries some risks, so it is important to weigh the benefits against the risks before surgery. Ask your healthcare provider to outline the possible complications, such as infection and bleeding, and possible side effects that could follow the procedure.
What happens if you do not have the operation?
If you decide, after weighing the benefits and risks of the surgery, not to have the operation, what will happen? You need to know whether the condition will worsen or if there is a possibility that it may resolve itself.
What type of anesthesia will be administered?
Your healthcare provider should tell you whether a local, regional, or general anesthesia will be given and why this type of anesthesia is recommended for your procedure. You should also ask who will be giving the anesthesia (such as an anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist.
What can I expect during recovery?
Ask your healthcare provider what to expect in the first few days following surgery, as well as in the weeks and months that follow. You need to know how long you will be hospitalized, what limitations will be placed on you, and if there are special supplies or equipment you will need when discharged.
What are the costs of this operation?
Because health plans vary in their coverage of different procedures, there may be costs you will be responsible for. You will need to know what the specific costs of the operation will be and how much your insurance or health plan will cover.