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Questions to ask before having surgery

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2016 | Doctor Errors

Massachusetts residents who have been recommended to have surgery may understandably feel nervous about this prospect. Before proceeding blindly, people should take the time before a procedure to ask questions and learn as much as they can. Doing this can help to ease fears and may also improve patient safety.

Perhaps one of the first questions to ask a doctor according to the American College of Surgeons is exactly why a surgery is needed. Understanding the purpose of the surgery and the expected outcome can go a long way toward making better decisions. Once a patient has chosen to move forward with a procedure, other questions should then be asked.

WebMD recommends that people get full details about the surgical team members and the facility at which the procedure will take place. This includes asking about accreditation as well as experience with other similar surgeries. Details about surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and others involved should all be obtained. Patients are urged to conduct their own research on providers and the surgical centers or hospitals involved.

Next, it is time to get comprehensive information about the operation itself, starting with what should be done ahead of time. In many situations, patients must fast or take certain medications before a surgery. Being clear about these instructions and what to expect on the day of the surgery can facilitate a better process. Finally, it is important to ensure that patients and caregivers alike have the facts about the post-surgical recovery process. This includes knowing what warning signs to watch for and when to seek medical help in case something does not appear to be healing properly.