Talking To Your Surgeon

It is normal to feel anxious and to have questions when you are facing any kind of surgery. When you are feeling anxious, it is natural to forget what the doctor tells you.

Many people find it helpful to have a family member or a friend attend the meeting with their doctor before surgery. Others jot down a list of questions in advance to discuss with the surgeon and nurse.

By writing down his or her response to your questions or by having a friend with you, you can be sure to remember everything.

Below are sample questions that people often ask their surgeons.

  • How will surgery affect my disease?
  • Is surgery my only option?
  • Are there different types of surgeries for my condition? If so, what are the pros and cons of each surgical procedure?
  • What are the potential risks and benefits of this operation?
  • What kinds of potential complications can occur with this operation?
  • What are the more common complications?
  • How long does the surgery take?
  • Will I need to take any medicines after surgery?
  • Will I need follow-up surgery?
  • How quickly can I expect to recover from surgery?

Surgeons realize that the prospect of surgery can be frightening. They understand that most people are under tremendous stress when they meet with a surgeon. Mutual respect and a realization that your surgeon shares your goal—to successfully treat your illness—will help you and your surgeon discuss your concerns.

If you have additional questions after your meeting, don't hesitate to call the surgeon's staff. They will be happy to address any concerns that you may have.

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