Important Questions to Ask Before Surgery
From complex open surgeries to minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedures, every surgery has associated risks. Your surgeon and other members of the care team should serve as resources to help you minimize surgical risks, but certain situations can leave patients uninformed, resulting in medical negligence that leads to serious complications. To be sure that your surgical team is held accountable with higher standards of care for your upcoming procedure, ask the following questions during your pre-surgical consultation.
Is this operation necessary?
You may be surprised how often surgery is recommended when alternative treatment modalities could produce equally effective results. Orthopedic surgeries in particular tend to be primarily elective surgeries, so it is always best to ask if a procedure is the best route for your treatment. If you are still unsure after consulting your surgeon, you can always seek a second opinion from another doctor.
Who can I contact for follow-up questions?
It is likely that your surgeon will have a nurse coordinator or surgical liaison who will serve as the primary point of contact for your care, but surgeons in smaller practices will prefer direct communication. You should make sure that you know the preferred way to contact your surgeon after surgery so that you are able to ask questions as they come up in your recovery. You’ll also want to know if your surgeon will need to see you for follow-up appointments or if post-operative care can be left to your primary physician.
What can I do to improve the outcome of surgery?
There are several steps that patients can take to improve their care. For example, quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet before and after surgery can significantly shorten the healing process and reduce complications. Discussing your medications with your doctor is also helpful, since certain medications and supplements might have adverse side effects with the surgery.
If you have had medical complications or lost a loved one due to medical negligence, contact Pegalis & Erickson, LLC at (516) 684-2900 to schedule a free consultation. Our Long Island practice has more than 40 years of experience representing plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases, and we can help you seek the compensation you deserve for your case.
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