7 Questions to Ask Before Having Surgery

Smiling doctor at the clinic giving an handshake to his patient, healthcare and professionalism concept

What used to be a fairly uncommon procedure, the number of neck surgeries performed on patients has significantly increased over the last decade. As technology has improved, surgeons have become more efficient at using this tool to help those suffering from neck pain or injury. 

Even though they’ve become more common, and therefore less scary, it’s still a good idea to be as prepared as you can when having surgery. 

The more information, the better for feeling confident that this is the right route to take towards better health. Here are seven questions we think everyone should ask their surgical team and doctor before going through any surgical procedure. 

1. Is This Going to Help My Symptoms?

The first thing you should always ask before any kind of surgery is if the procedure is going to help your symptoms. There’s no reason to go through with something if it’s not going to benefit you in the end, especially an invasive surgery. 

This is especially true for neck surgery or back surgery where you’ll have a longer recovery. You want to have the motivation that this is going to improve your life to keep you going through any hard spots during recovery. It’s good to have confidence in the end result to fall back on. 

While there are no guarantees, your surgeon should be able to give you the most likely outcome and how it will impact your life. 

2. Are There Any Alternatives? 

Next, it’s always a good idea to ask if there are any alternative solutions to your problem that don’t involve surgery. 

Push your medical team to think outside of the box for any other procedures or treatment options that could make a difference in your symptoms. This may or may not change the course of your surgery but it’s comforting to know that you had all of the options and information available. 

This search can also find things that will work with your surgery to bring you the best outcome as well. 

3. What Is the Process for the Surgery?

Probably one of the most important questions to ask your surgery team beforehand is what exactly the procedure will look like. Before you go into the operating room, you should know every step they’re going to take and why. 

This is another instance of knowledge being power and making a difference in your mental attitude and fortitude.

For example, if you’re having ACDF neck surgery you should know that it’s done with an anterior approach and which types of grafts will be used. Hearing the specific details of the surgery will help you feel more confident in your team’s abilities and ease some of the anxiety you may feel.  

4. Have You Performed This Surgery Before?

Another way to boost your confidence is to ask your surgical team if they’ve performed this surgery before. Experience is almost always on your side in the medical field, so knowing that is a huge benefit. 

Some patients also like to know how often the specific surgery is performed in the hospital altogether. That helps gauge how familiar the support staff is with the procedure and how helpful they’ll be to the surgeon throughout. 

The experience level also helps you feel more confident in the information they’re giving you about your potential outcomes and the changes you may see. 

5. Are There Any Risks?

Obviously, any medical procedure comes with a certain amount of inherent risk. There’s no surgery that doesn’t have any potential negative side effects and the hospital will go over those with you as well. 

But it’s helpful to understand what, if anything, could change negatively after your surgery. 

This could be more stiffness, a change in pain location, or a need for further medication. Whatever the case may be, understanding what could change helps you make the most informed decision you can. You can feel confident and assured that you’re prepared for whatever outcome you get. 

6. How Can I Prepare Myself for the Surgery?

Surgery preparation is a crucial aspect of making sure the whole experience is positive. Make sure to ask your surgical and medical teams what you can do to prepare. 

This will include how you can physically prepare to undergo the surgery. Things like stopping certain medications, eating a specific diet, or not overusing some body parts may be in the pre-surgery instructors. These should be followed exactly to make sure you get the best results. 

Your surgical team can also suggest ways to prepare your environment for your recovery. It may be getting a ramp to avoid the stairs, having different sleeping arrangements, or having someone to drive you. They’ll have great insight into how to best prepare for recovery. 

7. What Will Recovery Look Like? 

And lastly, you should ask your team what you can realistically expect out of your surgery recovery. Obviously, there are the ideal situations where you bounce back quickly. But you want the real answers with the closest estimate to what you’re looking at experiencing. 

All surgeries are hard on the body. It’s not a natural thing and it takes the body some time to get back to normal and heal completely. 

It’s helpful to know what to expect so you can mentally prepare for doing things differently for a little while till you’re healed all the way! 

Questions to Ask If You’re Having Surgery Soon

Having surgery is a big deal, even if it’s a minor procedure. It will always have an impact on your body and take some time to heal afterward. But they are often the best course of treatment to see improvements quickly. 

The best thing you can do for yourself prior to the procedure is to understand exactly what to expect so you can be as prepared as possible. Feeling worried and anxious over not knowing what to expect will only make the whole experience more stressful and slow your recovery. Knowledge is power in these situations!

If you’re interested in learning more about health and wellness, check out our other articles today! 

Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar is a project manager at Tridindia with more than nine years of commendable experience in writing about LMS, translation, and IT. His unmatched talent and passion for digital marketing gave him the opportunity to work as a multi-tasking project manager at TridIndia’s sister company, Link Building Corp. Today, he contributes to the world by imparting knowledge on SEO, link building and internet marketing etc., that helps business owners grow their online business.