Orlando, Orange County and Central Florida Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Attorneys
Important questions to ask your surgeon before your surgery
Surgery can be a big ordeal, and you may feel nervous or apprehensive. While it is normal to feel this way, there are several things that you can do prior to surgery to better educate yourself, and questions you can ask to help you make an informed decision. We have provided some of these questions below, but if you have any additional questions, be sure to ask those as well.
Q. What is done during the surgery?
Ask for a clear description of the operation. Find out if there are alternative surgical procedures. Are there alternatives to surgery? Sometimes surgery is the only way to correct the problem. But one option might be watchful waiting, to see if the problem gets better or worse.
Q. How will surgery help?
A hip replacement, for example, may mean you'll be able to walk comfortably again. To what extent will the surgery help your condition and how long will the benefits last? Let the health care professional know that you want realistic expectations.
Q. What are the risks of the surgery?
All operations carry some risk. Weigh the benefits against the risks. Ask about the side effects of the operation, such as the degree of pain you might expect and how long that pain will last. Will the surgery limit your activity, and if so, to what degree and for how long?
Q. What kind of experience has your surgical team had with this surgery?
How many times has the doctor performed this surgery, and what percentage of the people who have had the surgery saw successful results? To reduce your risks, you want a doctor who is thoroughly trained in the surgery and who has plenty of experience in your specific procedure.
Q. How long with the surgery take, and is it performed on an outpatient basis?
Many surgeries today are done on an outpatient basis, meaning that you will go home the same day of the surgery. In many cases, surgical procedures can be done relatively quickly and are sometimes performed in the surgeon’s office rather than in a hospital operating room.
Q. Will I be fully sedated for the surgery?
Your surgery may require only local anesthesia, which means that just part of your body is numbed during the procedure. In other cases, general anesthesia is used and you are completely asleep.
Q. How long will the recovery take?
You'll want to know when to expect the average patient to be able to resume normal activities such as going to work, resuming physical exercise or household tasks. You also will want to know if there is any specific physical therapy required after the surgery, or any dietary restrictions.
Q. What will it cost me?
Health insurance coverage varies. You may not have to pay anything. You might have a deductible to meet. Or perhaps you'll have to pay a percentage of the cost. Your doctor or hospital can usually give you information about this, but you also need to check with your insurance company yourself, to confirm. Be aware there will be both a surgeon's fee and a hospital or facility fee — know the cost of both. Be certain to know if you are responsible for a flat co-pay, or if you have to pay a percentage of the bill. There's a big difference.
Q. Should I get a second opinion?
If, after asking all these questions and others, you still have inquiries that were unanswered, you are unsatisfied with the answers you received, or you are still uncomfortable about the surgery, you may want to consider the advice of another doctor.
A second opinion, also called a consultation, can help you gain a better perspective on your surgical options. If you seek a second opinion, choose someone with expertise doing the surgery. Your primary care doctor may be able to help suggest someone for a second opinion. Keep in mind that a second opinion isn't necessarily any better than the first one. If there's disagreement, or agreement, between the two opinions, it's still up to you to evaluate your options and make the right choice for you and your family.
Our law firm believes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is always best to be knowledgeable about your surgery and ensure that you have explored all of your options, and that you are using the most reputable, skilled surgeon available to you.
Allen & Murphy. determined. focused. fearless.
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