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14 Questions to Ask Before Surgery

Grant Cooper Mar 28th, 2012 (updated Jun 16th, 2015)
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Before undergoing any surgery, you should be sure to do your due diligence. You wouldn't buy a house without asking around, so why would you not give your own body the same benefit?

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What are the risks and potential complications?
What are the risks and potential complications?

Have a complete knowledge of the procedure and what it entails.

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How many of these procedures have you done?
How many of these procedures have you done?

Have a strong knowledge of the surgeon, his or her background and read reviews prior to having surgery.

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How would you define a successful operation?
How would you define a successful operation?

Should I be pain free after the surgery?  How should I measure a successful procedure?

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What is your success rate for the procedure?
What is your success rate for the procedure?

A patient should know going in the success rates for a particular surgery and surgeon.

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What complications have you seen with this procedure?
What complications have you seen with this procedure?

What is the likelihood of experiencing such complications?

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What is your complication rate for this procedure?
What is your complication rate for this procedure?

How does your rate compare with other surgeons?  Do I need to look elsewhere?

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What alternative treatments are available?
What alternative treatments are available?

Do I have any other options?

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Can I try other options before opting for surgery?
Can I try other options before opting for surgery?

If I try an alternative treatment, can I come back to the surgery later?

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Can I have other treatments after this surgery?
Can I have other treatments after this surgery?

Does this surgery close the door on future options?

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If you were me, would you have it done?
If you were me, would you have it done?

If a surgeon wouldn't have the surgery in your situation, this should be a red flag.

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Which doctor would you choose for this procedure?
Which doctor would you choose for this procedure?

If a surgeon choose someone else, it may be wise to look elsewhere.

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How long is the recovery time?
How long is the recovery time?

It is important to know how long you will be on the mend.

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When will I be able to go back to my normal life?
When will I be able to go back to my normal life?

Will my life be changed forever?  Will quality of life improve?