5 Questions to Ask Before Inpatient Surgery According to Dr. Jeffrey Morgan
There are approximately 48 million surgical inpatient procedures performed every year in the United States, meaning that about 15% of the U.S. population while undergo surgery that requires one or more nights in hospital. With such significant numbers it becomes increasingly more important to know exactly what to ask your doctor and when to ask it when you find yourself in this scenario. Dr. Jeffrey Morgan MD is the Professor of Surgery and Surgical Director of the Advanced Heart Failure Center of Excellence at Baylor College of Medicine, he took the time to highlight the five top questions you should ask your surgeon before surgery.
1. General Surgery Information
All surgeries have risks and benefits, and it is important to be knowledgeable about the surgery being performed. When you ask the following questions, be sure to ask for further explanation if you are having trouble understanding the answer and/or any medical terms, Dr. Jeffrey Morgan explains that there is no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to being informed about your health. The first question you will want to ask is: What is the operation being recommended? Your surgeon should be able to explain to you exactly what it is they are going to do, and why it is that they favored this one option over another.
2. Health Complications and Risks
You will also want to know the risks involved in the procedure. Ask your doctor if there are any potential health complications, including: what is the most common risk or complication associated with the procedure? What is the outcome of the worst complication that can arise? What are the chances of a complication occurring? Dr. Jeffery Morgan says that regardless of the surgery there are risks involved, further stating, that it is important to know your complications in-order to adequately prepare for the surgery.
3. Surgical Experience
Once you have asked about the risks of the procedure, you might want to ask the surgeon about their experience with this particular procedure. Dr. Jeffrey Morgan explains that it is reasonable to ask your surgeon about his or her experience with the procedure, its outcome, and the hospital or setting in which the operation will be performed. You can also ask if the nursing staff are accustomed to caring for patients who have had this procedure. All of this information will give you an opportunity to make an informed decision and will likely put your mind at ease.
4. Pre-Surgical Steps
The fourth question you will want to ask is: what will happen before the operation? Preparation is important for most surgeries, and understanding the steps involved will prepare you for what is to come, and what is expected of you. Dr. Jeffery Morgan states that patients may need to take tests, give blood, take certain medicines, or abstain from eating or drinking for up to 24 hours before surgery, so be sure to ask your doctor ahead of time.
5. Recovery Process
Lastly, you will want to know what recovery is going to look like. Getting details about what you can and can’t do after surgery will give you an idea of how much time you may need to take off work or get help to care for yourself or your dependents. Dr. Jeffrey Morgan explains that it is important to know how long you will be in the hospital, if you need physical therapy, special supplies or medicine, and if there is anything you can do to help your recovery process.