Surgical procedures, while familiar to medical professionals and specialists, are often wholly unfamiliar to patients about to undergo them. Many patients have a veritable mountain of questions, but may be hesitant to ask because they feel embarrassed about not knowing. You should never forgo asking questions about your own body and any medical or surgical testing or procedures you may have. Here are some guidelines about the kinds of questions you might want to ask your orthopedic surgeon about prior to surgery:
Questions to ask your orthopaedic surgeon prior to surgery
· What procedure is being recommended? First and foremost, patients need to understand why the procedure is recommended and what to expect, before, during and after the procedure. You can also ask your doctor to provide material such as videos or articles that can answer general questions about tests, conditions and other common topics related to your procedure. Some patients take this opportunity to ask if there are other procedures that can achieve the same means, and why their doctor favors this operation over others.
· Is there a nonsurgical alternative to my procedure? Sometimes there can be nonsurgical or minimally invasive alternatives to procedure, such as diet and lifestyle changes, injections, medications, physical therapy or other treatment options. Many patients discuss in depth what all their options are with their care provider, so that they go into a procedure with the best knowledge possible. Remember however, that sometimes surgery is the best option available, and only trained medical professionals are qualified to determine what procedure, if any, is right for you.
· How will having the procedure benefit me? Many patients may be wondering what the long-term positive effects of having the procedure may be, and this poses a wonderful question to ask your care provider. He or she will be happy to discuss in depth with you the benefits of undergoing the chosen procedure. In some cases, the benefits may include restoration of function and range of motion, pain relief or the prevention of further complications.
· What are the risks? Many patients find themselves concerned about the risks of having a procedure, and opt to asking their doctor just what can happen during the procedure. While every surgery carries some risk, many procedures are considered quite safe, and your doctor can advise you about your probably outcome.
· Where will the surgery be performed? Sometimes, procedures are performed at what is known as an outpatient facility, although the surgery may be performed in a hospital. It is always a clever idea to be certain about the specifics of your procedure, so be sure to know exactly when and where the surgery will be performed.
· What can I expect during recovery? Specifics including recovery time, the involvement of physical therapy, decreased workload, or any other recovery limitations can be discussed in depth with your doctor.