Friday, September 10, 2010

Having Surgery? What You Need to Know

Every year more than 15 million Americans have surgery. Most operations are not emergencies.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRC) has a document that may help you and your family understand more about your surgery--whether it has to be done immediately or whether it can wait. Don't be afraid to bombard your physician with questions. Make sure you understand your instructions when you return home. This will increase your chances for a good and steady recovery.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Why do I need an operation?

2. What operation are you recommending?

3. Are there alternatives to surgery?

4. How much will the operation cost?

5. What are the benefits of having the operation?

6. What are the risks of having the operation?

7. What if I don't have this operation?

8. Where can I get a second opinion?

9. What kind of anesthesia will I need?

10. How long will it take me to recover?

10. What are your qualifications and how much experience do you have doing this operation?

11. At which hospital will the operation be done?

12. How long will I be in the hospital?

13. Will you mark the site of the surgery with a marking pen the day of the surgery?