- Why do I need this operation?
- How will the operation be performed?
- Are there other treatment options, and is this operation the best option for me?
- What are the risks, benefits, and possible complications for this operation? Will my health history and the medications I am currently taking mean the risks, possible complications, and benefits will be different for me?
- What are my anesthesia options?
- What kind of anesthesia is best for me considering my health history, the prescription medications, and vitamins/herbs I take?
- How will I be monitored during the operation?
- What can I expect before the operation?
- Will I need any special preparation – tests, blood donation, blood thinners, change in my routine medications?
- Will I need any special diet?
- When do I have to stop eating and drinking?
- Should I take my home medication on the day of my operation?
- What can I expect for my recovery in terms of treatment, medication, diet, and home care?
- What type of care will I have to provide for myself at home?
- When will I be able to return to my regular activities (work, lifting, driving, and exercise)?
- Will I need any medication—antibiotics, pain medication?
- What can I do to help with my recovery?
- Could you tell me about your experience with this operation?
- Do you perform this operation regularly?
- What is your success rate, and how often do your patients experience any problems?
- Are you board certified?
- Are you a member of the American College of Surgeons?
- How can I contact you if I have more questions?
- Is the surgical facility accredited and properly staffed?
- How much will the operation cost me, and what type of insurance do you take?
Sources for Patient Questions
Russell, TR. I Need and Operation. . . Now What? American College of Surgeons. Chicago, IL. 2008
When planning for an Operation. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality www.ahrq.gov/consumer/quicktips/tipsurgery.htm