After your doctor tells you surgery is necessary, you may be frightening and intimidating. There are some steps you can take to ease some of the stress involved prior to having orthopedic surgery. Asking your surgeon these five questions, may help you better understand what to expect and ease your anxieties and allow you to become better informed before surgery.
What exactly will the surgery and the recovery be like?
As with most professions, surgery has its own language that makes sense to the surgeon and the medical team, but sometimes not to the patient. Ask for specifics about preparation for the surgery, what will happen during the surgery, and what to expect during recovery.
How much experience does the surgeon have with the surgery & what outcomes has the surgeon experienced?
It is normal to be anxious about the surgery, and you will want to have a surgeon with experience — a surgeon who has a history of good results with the surgery.
Why is it necessary to have the surgery now?
Perhaps having the procedure now is not convenient for you. Find out if the surgery can be delayed without causing more harm and making the surgery more difficult or adding complications to recovery.
Are there other options?
Ask if there is therapy or other options that can delay the operation if possible. For those who do like to be involved in sports, surgery might be the best, and even the only, good choice.
What kind of anesthesia will be required?
If you experience complications with a certain kind of anesthesia, make certain the surgeon is aware of the complications — if necessary the surgeon can make adjustments to ensure your surgery will go as planned.
Asking questions and understanding why, when and how the procedure will take place will help ensure that you will have a positive experience with the surgery. An active and involved patient is knowledgeable and understands what will happen to his or her body, and will be more at ease with the procedure.