Before you agree to have surgery, there are a lot of questions you should ask. You should determine how necessary the surgery is, what would happen if you don’t have the surgery, and if there are any alternatives you can try before you go under the knife. However, just because you’ve answered these types of questions and you have determined that having surgery is the right choice doesn’t mean you’re done asking questions!

Before you arrive the morning of your procedure, there are questions you should ask your surgical team that can put your mind at ease and ensure the procedure goes as smoothly as possible.

How Will Anesthesia Work?

Anesthesia is an extremely important component to surgery. You deserve to have a few minutes with the anesthesiologist to ask how everything is going to work.

That includes clarifying what kind of anesthesia you will get and how you should expect to feel when you wake up, but it should also include how anesthesia medical billing works. Anesthesiologists often bill separately from other aspects of the procedure. Knowing how much that bill is going to be, whether it will show up on your general bill, or if you will receive a separate one is important to know.

Talking with your anesthesiologist can also put your mind at ease. Surgery can be scary, and talking to the anesthesiologist about how they will take care of you can make you feel a little less nervous about your procedure.

How Much Is This Operation Going to Cost?

Not only do you need to take the time to make sure you know how much anesthesia costs, you also have to know how much the rest of the surgery costs too. That includes the procedure, as well as any radiologists, pathologists, and medication that you might need.

Uncovering these costs can be extremely difficult. It isn’t uncommon for people to receive surprise bills and end up paying a lot more than they thought. Not only should you ask the people in the doctor’s office, but you should also consider speaking with a medical billing advocate. They can provide you with advice to keep costs down, and they can help, should you receive an outrageous bill in the mail you didn’t expect.

What Should I Do to Get Ready for Surgery?

Every surgery is different, but it is important to prepare to the best of your ability before any and every procedure. There are some general things you can do to get ready for surgery like:

  • Drink clear liquids, like water and tea
  • Eat protein, as it supports immunity and promotes wound healing
  • Quit smoking or take a break well before your procedure
  • Consider taking nutritional supplements
  • Increase your physical activity

You also need to ask your doctor and follow their directions. They will tell you when to stop drinking liquids, they can provide you with exercise advice, and they can tell you what supplements to take.

What Can I Expect During Recovery?

The surgery may only take a few hours, but you’ll spend weeks, or even months, recovering from the procedure. It’s important to know what you’re getting into.

Ask your doctor to go into detail about what you can expect from recovery. That means what kind of medications you’ll have to take, what kind of diet you should adopt, and what kind of help you’ll need afterward.

You should also ask if you will have to return to have drains or stitches removed, as well as if there are any special items that you can use that will make recovery a little easier.

What Is Your Experience With This Operation?

Don’t assume the first surgeon you meet with is the only person who can perform your procedure. Chances are, there are plenty of doctors in your area who are qualified. Make sure you find the right one by asking about your surgeon’s experience.

That means asking how often they perform this surgery, what their successrate is, and if they are board certified to perform the procedure. If you aren’t happy with their responses, don’t be afraid to talk to another doctor. You deserve to receive the best care, which includes receiving care from a person that you’re comfortable with.

It’s fairly safe to assume that your doctor wants to take the best care of you as possible, but you’re your own best advocate. Make sure your surgery goes as well as possible by following the tips on this list.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Five Questions to Ask Before Having Surgery," in Medicalopedia, August 25, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9185/five-questions-to-ask-before-having-surgery/].