If your doctor has advised you to undergo some type of surgery, then there are three questions that you should ask your doctor before agreeing. You will be advised that there are a great number of risks that are associated with any type of surgery which could range from getting some type of minor infection to death. You will probably experience a great deal of anxiety associated with having to undergo surgery. You may be in a tremendous amount of pain, have a long recuperative period ahead of you, incur significant medical bills, or be out of work and lose wages. It is important that you completely understand the surgical procedure which you are considering having performed on you.
First of all, you should try to become an expert in the type of surgery that your doctor has recommended. Do plenty of research, understand the risks and complications, find out the alternatives, and be prepared to have an intelligent conversation with your surgeon about all of your questions and concerns.
1. What are the benefits of undergoing this surgical procedure, and how long will those benefits last?
You will want to have a complete understanding as to why you would to choose to undergo this particular surgical procedure. You will also want to know how long the benefits which you obtain from the surgery will last. Is this a procedure that is relatively new or has it been performed for a great number of years? What has been the success rate for patients undergoing this particular type of surgical procedure? How long, on average, do the benefits obtained through this surgical procedure last? What other information can your doctor share with you to help you become a better educated patient so you can make an intelligent decision as to how you would like to proceed?
2. What are the alternatives to undergoing the recommended surgical procedure?
If you chose not to undergo this particular surgical procedure, then what alternatives or other options would be available to you? Why would a patient choose this recommended surgical procedure over all of the other alternatives? Would it be a good idea to try one or more alternatives prior to undergoing this recommended surgery and if no, why? You will want to have a complete understanding as to why the recommended surgical procedure is the best, and in some cases only, option available to you.
3. How long will it take me to fully recover?
You will want your doctor to explain to you in detail the recovery process generally experienced after undergoing this particular type of surgical procedure. What are the various stages of recovery, including limitations and restrictions, that you will experience and how long will each stage last? How do these limitations and restrictions affect the average person? What types of care and treatment can you receive to assist you in getting better and will your doctor arrange for these? Can you expect to have a complete recovery, and if not, what restrictions will the average patient be left with after undergoing this particular type of surgical procedure.
It might also be a good idea to get a second opinion especially if you are considering undergoing a significant surgical procedure. You will want to contact another surgeon and request an appointment for a second opinion. You should make sure that this doctor has all of your medical records in advance of your appointment so that an intelligent conversation can be had regarding your condition and the proposed surgery. If the second surgeon has a different opinion, ask why the opinion is different and what this doctor thinks that you should be doing instead of undergoing the recommended surgical procedure. You will then have to have a follow-up conversation with your original surgeon to arrive at a decision as to how you are going to proceed regarding your particular medical situation.
You will also want to find out through both the doctors’ office and your insurance company about costs which you will be responsible for as a result of this surgical procedure. It is important that you determine your deductible, if any, your co-pay, and any and all other payments which you will be personally responsible for so you can properly plan on the particular type of financial burden that this surgery will place upon you and your family.
To obtain more information about how to get better medical care and how to get better quicker, call and speak with one of our Connecticut personal injury attorneys to get your questions answered over the phone or schedule a free consultation. These are important decisions so make sure you are fully informed so you can help to improve your medical situation.