A layman experiences a lot of uncertainty and confusion before a medical procedure like surgery. There are so many questions that you want your doctor to answer. Knowing little details makes it easier for you to set expectations from the procedure. It is wise to be aware of the details of the process, the side effects, and the final result before you commit to having it done.
You can write the questions you may have and make sure to ask them on your next visit. Professional terminology can be difficult to understand and can create even more confusion. So, it would be better if you request your doctor to answer these in layman’s terms. Here is a list of general questions you should ask your doctor before a medical procedure. You can even add specific questions you have that are unique to your situation.
Do You Need The Procedure Now?
There are times when a procedure is not necessary for you to survive. In cases like osteoarthritis, surgery is not needed but can be recommended for a better quality of life. Your doctor might also give you a time frame for when it is best to get the procedure done. Until then, you will be advised to keep a check on your symptoms. If the surgery is only a recommendation, you can take your time to manage finances and prepare yourself mentally.
What Is The Procedure?
You should have a clear knowledge of what the doctor plans on doing. Ask your doctor to give you step-by-step details of the process of the procedure. This will also give you an idea of how you should prepare for it. For example, before getting an ultrasound, you must know any guidelines regarding consuming food and water and the kind of clothes you should have on for convenience. If the procedure is a surgery, there might be different methods of performing the same surgery. Request your doctor to explain all of them and take their opinion on which one would suit your case the best.
Are There Any Alternatives To This Procedure? If Yes, What?
There might be several ways to cure a medical condition. Even though they may differ in results, you must choose the one you are most comfortable with. This question can be of even greater help if you are having elective surgery. For example, a liquid nose job is an alternative to rhinoplasty that many people opt for. If you do not feel truly ready for a permanent nose job, you can explore the option of fillers. Be sure to ask your doctor this question to make an informed decision.
What Is The Cost Of The Procedure?
This is a very important question, and the answers can vary depending on your choice of healthcare provider, location, and other facilities. A medical procedure includes your doctor’s fee, hospitalization costs, bills of medicines administered, and other minor costs. To be financially prepared, ask for an estimate of how much the procedure can cost in total. You can also look for cheaper alternatives for location and other facilities if you wish to.
What Are The Risks Of The Procedure?
Medical procedures that include surgery always have some risks attached to them. Given your condition, age, or other specifics, possible complications like excessive bleeding might occur during the procedure. There might also be negative side effects of the procedure that is being done. You have the right to be aware of all these negatives. It will help you weigh the pros and cons of getting the procedure done if you have a choice.
What Is The Doctor’s Experience In Performing This Procedure?
Do not avoid asking this question because of the fear of offending your doctor. You have all the right to know if your doctor has performed this procedure before. This information will make you feel more confident in your doctor’s abilities. It will reduce the stress and anxiety revolving around the procedure.
Will Anesthesia Be Required? If Yes, Then What Kind?
The type of anesthesia administered can be local, general, or regional, depending on the type of procedure you are getting. For example, you can be given local anesthesia for a minor dental procedure, but you require general anesthesia for a major procedure like open-heart surgery. Moreover, there are complications and side effects of anesthesia that you should discuss with your healthcare provider.
What Is The Recovery Time, And What To Expect During That Timeline?
Asking this question will give you the chance to prepare for the recovery ahead of time. You can purchase any special equipment you will need after the procedure. It will also be easier for you to plan your future commitments if you have a rough idea of when you will be clear to resume normal activities.
These questions will give you a better picture of what to expect from the procedure. They will also prevent you from making hasty decisions and having unrealistic expectations. Make sure you have an open conversation with your doctor for an experience you are satisfied with.