Surgery can be a frightening experience, but it is often necessary to resolve a problem or improve a medical condition. One of the best ways to alleviate your anxiety before a surgical procedure is to ask your doctor some important questions so you can be better prepared. Here are five questions you should always ask your doctor before undergoing any surgical procedure.

1. What is the purpose of this procedure?

Before having a surgical procedure, it is important to make sure that you understand why the procedure is necessary. Ask your doctor to explain the reason for the procedure, how it works and what the benefits will be. If any alternatives are available, ask your doctor to explain them so you can make the best decision in your situation. If you are not sure whether you want to have the surgery, ask your doctor what you should expect if you choose to cancel the procedure.

2. What are the possible complications and risks of the surgery?

Every surgery comes with certain risks. For example, if you are being placed under general anesthesia, you face a small risk of having an allergic reaction to the medication used. You may also face risks of bleeding or tissue damage during surgery. Ask your doctor to explain any and all risks associated with your specific procedure. Be sure to ask how likely each of these risks is to occur. You should also ask about any complications you may face, such as post-surgical infections or a failed procedure. Ask your doctor if there are any steps you can take to reduce risks or lower the likelihood of complications.

3. What can I expect on the day of the surgery?

One of the best ways to calm your nerves before surgery is to ask your doctor to explain what will happen on the day of the procedure. Ask about what time you should arrive, where you will check in and what will happen while you are waiting for surgery. You should also ask the doctor to explain the basic steps of the procedure and estimate how long it will take to complete. Finally, be sure to ask about your time in recovery and what you should expect when you wake up from surgery.

4. What will the recovery be like?

Depending on the specifics of your surgery and your condition, you may need to spend some time in the hospital temporarily after your procedure, or you may be released to go home on the same day. Ask the doctor what you should expect during this time. You should also ask about any restrictions that will apply after your procedure, whether you need someone to care for you at home and when you should be able to return to your normal daily activities. Ask your doctor what you can do to ensure that you recover from the surgery as quickly and fully as possible.

5. How much will this operation cost?

Surgery is one of the most expensive treatments offered by medical professionals. Understanding how much you will be expected to pay before you actually have the surgery can greatly reduce your anxiety and prevent any unexpected bills from the doctor or the hospital. If you have medical insurance, be sure to verify that the procedure is covered and find out how much your insurance company will pay. If possible, arrange any payment plans you may need before the surgery so you won’t have to worry about it while you are trying to recover.

Feeling nervous before surgery is normal, but getting the answers to these questions can help you to feel calmer and better prepared. If you have any other concerns about your procedure, be sure to express them to your doctor before the day of the surgery.

If you have any problems during or after a surgical procedure, you may need to take legal action against the doctor or the hospital. In such cases, having a medical expert witness can dramatically improve your chances of success in court. Please contact Dr. Edward Mallory to learn more.