What to Ask if You Need Surgery
By Joy Pierce Mathews for Summit Medical Group
The Summit Medical Group model of care focuses on well-coordinated, comprehensive, and convenient care that puts patients first. To ensure that you receive the highest standard of care, the Group wishes to help you:
- Take a role in your health care
- Ask questions
- Understand your condition or disease
- Understand and decide about your treatment options
Our Doctor Discussion Guide can make it easier for you to ask important questions when you visit your doctor and if you need surgery. Download the Guide and follow these simple steps:
1) Place the Doctor Discussion Guide in a convenient location such as your refrigerator before your appointment. Having it handy will make it easier to make notes on it as you think of things you’d like to ask your doctor.
2) Write down all questions, concerns, or side effects that you are having.
3) Use the section at the bottom to write additional questions or make notes about recommendations your doctor has about your health, medications, and follow-up appointments.
4) Take all your medication bottles to your appointment or list them with the proper dosing below.
Don’t feel embarrassed to ask your doctor about any concerns you have about your health. Remember that he or she can only provide the care you need if you are honest about your complete medical history, including your lifestyle habits such as smoking, your diet, emotional problems, alcohol and drug use, and not taking medications as prescribed.
If you need surgery, you should ask:
1) Why do I need surgery?
2) What kind of surgery do I need?
3) How much does it cost?
4) Will my insurance cover the cost of my surgery?
5) What will you or the surgeon do?
6) How many times have you or has the surgeon performed this particular surgery?
7) What are the benefits and risks of the surgery?
8) How successful is the surgery?
9) Which hospitals do you recommend for this surgery?
10) Will the surgery be painful?
11) Will I need local or general anesthesia?
12) How long will the surgery last?
13) How long will I need to recover from the surgery?
14) Can you tell me what I can expect in the days and weeks immediately after I have the surgery?
15) How long will I be in the hospital?
16) Is there a way to treat my condition/disease without surgery?
17) What will happen if I wait or don’t have this surgery?
18) Where can I get a second opinion?
Use this section to list any symptoms or other concerns you would like to discuss with your doctor.
Please click on any of the following links for a list of downloadable questions about:
- Tests or procedures
- Choosing a practitioner
- Choosing a health plan
- Choosing a hospital
- Long-term care