In the US, over one million people undergo surgery each year. The vast majority of these surgeries are successful and lead to disease-free lives for patients. However, a small percentage of these surgeries result in complications that may include long term disability or death. This article will cover fourteen questions experts like Selin Sakarcan recommend to ask your surgeon prior to surgery so you can feel confident in their ability to perform your surgery safely.
- What is your experience with this type of surgery? Surgeons with extensive experience in a particular type of surgery are more likely to have fewer complications and better outcomes.
- What is your complication rate for this surgery? A high complication rate may be an indication that the surgeon is not as experienced as they should be.
- What is your mortality rate for this surgery? A high mortality rate may be an indication that the surgeon is not as experienced as they should be.
- What are the risks associated with this surgery? Every surgery has inherent risks, so it is important to know what they are before consenting to surgery.
- What are the potential side effects of this surgery? Side effects can range from minor inconveniences to life-threatening complications. It is important to know what to expect.
- What type of post-operative care will I need? Be sure to ask about how long you will need to stay in the hospital and what type of rehabilitation or follow-up care you will need.
- What are the costs associated with this surgery? Surgery can be expensive, so it is important to know what your financial responsibility will be.
- How often do you perform this surgery? A surgeon who performs a particular surgery frequently is more likely to have fewer complications and better outcomes.
- What are your credentials? Be sure to ask about the surgeon’s training and experience.
- Do you have any malpractice claims against you? While no surgeon is perfect, a history of malpractice claims may be an indication that the surgeon is not as experienced or qualified as they should be.
- Do you have hospital privileges to perform this surgery? Some hospitals have more stringent requirements than others.
- Have you ever been disciplined by the state medical board? A disciplinary action by the state medical board may be an indication that the surgeon is not as qualified as they should be.
- Are you a member of any professional organizations? Professional organizations can provide a way for surgeons to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in their field.
- What do you think is the best treatment for me? Be sure to ask the surgeon about their opinion on the best type of surgery for your particular condition.
Asking your surgeon these questions prior to surgery will help ensure that you are comfortable with their level of experience and expertise. It is also important to remember that you have the right to second opinion if you are not confident in your surgeon’s abilities. Surgery is a serious undertaking, so be sure to do your research to ensure that you are making the best decision for your health.