Going through surgery can be a scary experience for many, but one of the ways patients can feel more comfortable is through the pre-operation process of asking questions and learning more. Below, we’ll go through some crucial things you should know before undergoing a medical procedure, such as the benefits, risks, and alternatives.
The Procedure and Other Options
First, you should be intimately familiar with the procedure you’re about to go through and its details after speaking with your healthcare provider. The patient should understand what the procedure is, how it’s being performed, who will be performing it, and why it’s the recommendation of your healthcare provider.
But patients should also ask about alternatives to the procedure, whether it’s a different procedure or a form of treatment that forgoes any surgery. Is there another procedure that could be more beneficial but can’t be performed at your facility? Getting a second opinion before a major medical procedure is always wise.
Benefits of the Procedure
During the explanation of the medical procedure by the healthcare provider or their staff, they’ll outline the benefits that this procedure will provide. Patients should also ask detailed questions about the procedure’s benefits, including how long it will be until they see positive results or how long the results will last.
Pro Tip: Having a second person in the room, like a relative or close friend, helps when it comes time to ask the healthcare provider questions.
Patients should also ask about the benefits of the alternatives to the procedure outlined earlier and whether their priorities may align more with other alternatives. Sometimes, a medical procedure may provide a quick fix, but an alternative treatment has greater long-term benefits.
Risks of the Procedure
One thing that every patient should know about before undergoing a medical procedure is the risks and potential complications. Patients should also know about informed consent, which legally requires healthcare providers to explain the potential complications of a treatment or procedure before receiving consent from the patient.
Ask your healthcare provider to outline the procedure’s risks and how likely it is that complications will arise. Ask about the potential complications with the alternatives and weigh the pros and cons of each option.
Lastly, patients should ask what they can expect when the medical procedure is done, assuming it is successful. What’s the general timeline for the recovery, and how long will you be limited as your body recovers from the medical procedure?
Are there greater risks of complications after the procedure, like an infection? Ideally, if you receive anesthesia for the procedure, you’ll wake comfortably and understand what to expect.
To conclude, the important thing to remember before a medical procedure is to ask questions and learn as much as possible. After all, you are the one going through the procedure, so you want to be as familiar with the process and potential results as possible.