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8 Essential Questions to Ask Your Surgeon Before Surgery
Jun 19, 2017
If you’ve been living with neck or back pain and conservative measures haven’t brought you the relief you need, a surgical procedure may be the best option. But, before you make your decision, there are 8 important questions you should ask your surgeon before surgery.
Why is this procedure right for me? Are there any non-surgical options that’ll give me the results I need?
It’s fair to ask your surgeon how the procedure in question will best address your condition. You can also ask whether there are other options you could pursue before going through with surgery.
Can you give me details about the procedure? Explain it so I can understand.
Sometimes, the details fall by the wayside, and you’re inundated with medical terminology. Your doctor should be able to explain the procedure in simple terms so that you fully comprehend what’s involved in your treatment.
What will happen without surgery?
You should be fully aware of your condition and how delaying treatment may affect you. You doctor can explain how your condition may progress without treatment.
What are the risks of the surgery? What if it fails? What is the success rate of the procedure? Will surgery permanently correct my problem or is it just a temporary solution? Should I expect the pain to come back?
While every procedure carries risk, current minimally invasive treatments have a very high success rate. Your doctor should be able to provide you with an account of the risks, side effects and success rate of the procedure, as well as steps that can be taken, should the procedure fail to produce the results you need.
Talk to me about recovery time. How long will I be getting over surgery? How long will my pain last? When can I get back to driving? Work/school? Strenuous activities? Intimate relations?
You surgeon will be able to give you an idea of when you can return to your active lifestyle activities, given your current health situation and the nature of the procedure you’re undergoing.
Will I need follow-up care? What side effects are normal and which ones are red flags?
Ask your doctor about physical therapy and the side effects you’ll experience during the recovery process as well as any indicators that you need immediate attention such as signs of infection or other problems with healing.
What are your lifestyle recommendations moving forward?
The surgeon will advise you about what foods, exercises and stress management techniques will be best for you as well as other lifestyle concerns to implement to optimize your recovery.
Are you board certified? How many of these procedures have you done? How many failed? Can I speak with other patients who’ve been through this procedure?
Your doctor should be able to speak to their experience and successes and whether you may be able to connect with others who’ve already recovered from surgery. Board certified surgeons must meet the highest national standards and continually expand their knowledge, so you need to know as much as you can about your surgeon and their level of expertise. At Back Pain Centers of America (BPC), our board-certified spine specialists can provide you with the treatment you deserve, including current minimally invasive and laser spine procedures. We’ve helped over 30,000 people find the road to recovery from neck and back pain. Call us today at [sc name=”patient_phone_number_dash”] to learn more about how we can help you.