12 Nov How to Prepare for Surgery
You have been told by your medical provider that you need to have surgery and your mind is going in a million different directions. How do you make the decision whether to have a surgery or a medical procedure done?
First off remember that there is no such thing as “minor” surgery if it’s your body. Find out the official name of the procedure or surgery and ask for explanations in simple language. This can be done by asking questions like the following of your health care provider;
• Can you take a few minutes to explain this to me?
• Can you draw a quick picture or show me a picture of what will happen?
• What can I read, listen to or watch to learn more about this?
Next think about your expectation or the benefit you hope to gain from having the surgery. Are you looking to relieve pain or preserve normal function again? It might be something that will actually prolong or save your life. Then write those expectations down and clearly communicate them to your doctor. Remember to keep a realistic perspective on these.
Once you relate your expectations to your doctor it’s important to find out the probability, or success rate, of the surgery. Ask your doctor how many times he’s performed this procedure and what his/her success rate is. Here’s what success rate percentages look like in plain language.
• Greater than 90% Almost always works
• Greater than 75% Likely to work
• Greater than 50% Works over half the time
• Less than 50% Works less than half the time
• Less than 25% Unlikely to work
• Less than 10% Hardly ever works
After gathering this important information you may want to get a second opinion with another healthcare provider. This is a common practice.
Exploring other choices or alternatives for the problem can also be beneficial. You might want to consider “watchful waiting” for a period of time, or consider non-surgical alternatives for the problem. Another consideration is asking yourself, “How will my life be different if I decide not to have this procedure?”
What are the risks associated with this procedure, both now and in the future? There are two types of risks with procedures in general, complications and side effects. More risks are involved when having surgery such as: infection, hemorrhage, pain, accidental injury, and even death. This is vital to know before agreeing to any procedure or surgery.
The last thing to consider when deciding on a surgery or procedure is the expense. Health care costs vary greatly so get clear information from your doctor about the cost of the procedure. Also, make sure you understand your health care benefits or health insurance coverages.
Just remember to make a good decision you must be
P rocedure – What is being recommended?
R eason – What harm is your problem causing you?
E xpectation – What benefit can you reasonably expect?
P robability – What is the success rate?
A lternatives – What other choices do you have?
R isks – What possible problems may occur?
E xpense – What are the costs? What will insurance cover?
D ecision – Do you have enough information to make an informed decision?
Source: Zywave, 2018
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Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your medical professional or legal representative for information specific to your needs.