Every surgery comes with risks. Understanding those risks can help you make informed decisions about undergoing surgery. You should be able to talk to your doctor about what will happen during surgery and what the potential risks and complications are for you.
Unfortunately, you don’t always know the right questions to ask as a patient, and your doctor may not anticipate the concerns that you have in order to give you the information you need. This can result in undergoing a procedure that you do not feel prepared for.
If you are facing a surgical procedure, it’s important to take the time to talk with your doctor about the procedure and what to expect from your recovery. Following are some of the common questions that you may want to ask before surgery.
What are the risks and complications associated with this surgery?
Although doctors should discuss the risks involved, they don’t always address them in way that a patient can easily understand. If you are unclear about what could happen during and after your surgery, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for more information.
What is the doctor’s experience with surgeries like this?
Some patients are reluctant to ask doctors about their experience, but you should never hesitate to ask for background information regarding your surgeon. You want to be confident that they can handle surgeries of this type and the complications that may occur during the procedure.
What should I do to prepare for surgery?
There are often medication restrictions prior to surgery. Make sure you have talked to your doctor about the prescriptions you are taking and whether you should continue to take them leading up to your surgery.
What will the actual surgery be like?
Although you don’t need to understand every detail of the procedure in the same way the surgeon does, you should have a basic knowledge of what will happen during the surgery. This can help you feel more at ease and confident about undergoing surgery and more knowledgeable and patient about your recovery.
What will my recovery be like?
You should understand how long your recovery is expected to take in addition to what medications you will need and what type of pain and discomfort you can expect. You should also ask about assistive devices that may aid your recovery. Understanding what is within the “normal” range for your recovery can help you identify when something is going wrong.
Will I need follow-up appointments?
Most surgeries require follow-up appointments, but it is usually up to the patient to schedule those. Make sure you know what appointments you should make with your doctor and when after your surgery.
This blog post was submitted by the law firm of Kline & Specter, PC. At Kline & Specter, our medical malpractice attorneys, five of whom are accomplished physicians, are dedicated to helping medical malpractice victims and their families seek the justice they deserve. We have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Let us help you if you have suffered injuries at the hands of your surgeon.