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- What is the operation (procedure) that is recommended?
- What is the surgeon's experience with this procedure?
- What is the reason that this procedure is necessary at this time?
- What are the options if this procedure is not done?
- What is the anticipated outcome of the procedure?
- Where will the doctor perform the surgery?
- What kind of anesthesia is required for the procedure?
- What are the specific risks that this procedure involves?
- What about a second opinion?
- What is the recovery process after this procedure?
- Is this procedure covered by my insurance plan?
What is the operation (procedure) that is recommended?
Ask your surgeon for a simplified explanation of the type of operation, technique used, and reasons it should be performed. (Pictures and drawings can tell patients and family a great deal.) Why was this specific procedure chosen over possible alternatives?
What is the surgeon's experience with this procedure?
It is reasonable to ask how often the surgeon performs the particular procedure. Ask the surgeon about his/her experience with this procedure, its outcome, and the hospital or setting in which the operation will be performed. Is the nursing staff accustomed to caring for patients who have had this procedure?
What is the reason that this procedure is necessary at this time?
Is the procedure being done to relieve pain, diagnose a condition, correct deformity, for cosmetic reasons, or what exact purposes? Must the procedure be performed immediately?
What are the options if this procedure is not done?
What are the nonsurgical or medical treatments available to help the condition? What will/might happen if the operation is not done? If the operation is not done at this time, can it be done later? What are the consequences if the procedure is postponed or delayed?
What is the anticipated outcome of the procedure?
What exactly are the expected or possible benefits of doing the procedure? How likely is it that these benefits will result from the procedure?
What kind of anesthesia is required for the procedure?
Is a general anesthetic necessary? Can the procedure be performed under local or regional anesthesia? Are sedatives or other medications required prior to the procedure? What are the risks of the type of anesthesia to be used?
What are the specific risks that this procedure involves?
What are the problems, complications, or conditions that are the risks of the procedure? How common are these complications and potential adverse events? If complications occur, how can they be treated? Is hospitalization required, or can the procedure be performed on an outpatient basis? If hospitalization is recommended, how long is a typical hospital stay?
What about a second opinion?
Obtaining a second opinion is very reasonable for an elective (voluntary, or non-emergency) surgical procedure. This will not be a problem with the first surgeon, who will recognize this as commonplace. Second opinions can reassure anxious patients (and family members) and make the whole process easier for all involved.
What is the recovery process after this procedure?
Procedures vary in terms of wound recovery time and length of rehabilitation programs. It is very important for patients to know the long-term program ahead of time for the best planning. Will pain control medications be necessary? How long will it be until you can resume normal functioning? When can you return to work and recreational activities?
Is this procedure covered by my insurance plan?
Will physician's fees, associated costs, hospital services, rehabilitation programs, and pain medications be covered by my insurance plan? Sometimes the doctor's office staff can be very helpful in securing the answers to these questions. If not, a direct call to your insurer is in order.
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Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. Appendicitis often causes sings and symptoms such as abdominal pain in the lower right quadrant, nausea, vomiting, abdominal tenderness, fever, and loss of appetite.
Delay in surgery can result in appendix rupture with potentially serious complications.
ArthroscopyDuring arthroscopy, a tube-like viewing instrument (called an arthroscope) is used to examine the internal structure of a joint for diagnosis or treatment. Arthroscopy is useful when attempting to diagnose or treat various types of arthritis and joint injuries. This surgical procedure may often be performed in an outpatient setting.
Bone CancerBone cancer is a rare type of cancer that occurs in cells that make up the bones. Primary bone cancer that arises in bone cells is different than metastatic bone cancer, which is cancer that arises in another part of the body and then spreads to the bones. Hereditary and environmental factors likely contribute to the risk of bone cancer. Signs and symptoms of bone cancer may include pain, the presence of a mass or lump, and bone fractures. There are different types of bone cancer (osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Ewing's sarcoma, pleomorphic sarcoma, fibrosarcoma). Treatment for bone cancer may include surgical removal of the tumor, chemotherapy, radiation, and/or a stem cell transplant. The prognosis for bone cancer depends on the type of cancer and the extent of spread.
Breast AugmentationBreast augmentation refers to the surgical implantation of a silicone or saline implant to give the breast a fuller appearance. Potential complications of the procedure include
- asymmetry, and
- hardening of the breast.
Breast cancer is an invasive tumor that develops in the mammary gland. Breast cancer is detected via mammograms, breast self-examination (BSE), biopsy, and specialized testing on breast cancer tissue. Treatment of breast cancer may involve surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Breast cancer risk may be lowered by managing controllable risk factors.
What you should know about breast cancer
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.
- One in every eight women in the United States develops breast cancer.
- There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading (metastasize) to other body tissues.
- The causes of breast cancer are unknown, although medical professionals have identified a number of risk factors.
- There are many different types of breast cancer.
- Breast cancer symptoms and signs include
- a lump in the breast or armpit,
- bloody nipple discharge,
- inverted nipple,
- orange-peel texture or dimpling of the breast's skin (peau d'orange),
- breast pain or sore nipple,
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpit, and
- a change in the size or shape of the breast or nipple.
- Breast cancer can also be symptom free, which makes following national screening recommendations an important practice.
- Breast cancer is diagnosed during a physical exam, by a self-exam of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy.
- Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage (0-IV) and may involve surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
Cervical Cancer (Cancer of the Cervix)Cervical cancer is cancer of the entrance to the womb (uterus) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Regular pelvic exams, Pap testing and screening can detect precancerous changes in the cervix. Cervical cancer can be prevented by a vaccine. The most common signs and symptoms are an increase in vaginal discharge, painful sex, and postmenopausal bleeding. The prognosis and survival rate depends upon the stage at which the cancer was diagnosed.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is performed to relieve angina in individuals who have failed medical therapy and are not good candidates for angioplasty (PTCA). CABG surgery is ideal for individuals with multiple narrowings in multiple coronary artery branches. Mortality and complications increase with:
- older age,
- poor heart muscle function,
- disease obstructing the left main coronary artery,
- chronic kidney failure,
- and chronic lung disease.
Plastic Surgery PicsThinking about getting plastic surgery? Check out before and after pictures of popular plastic surgery procedures, including: liposuction, tummy tuck, breast implants, rhinoplasty (nose job), neck lift, and more.
Diverticulitis SlideshowDiverticulitis (diverticulosis) is a condition in which the diverticulum or diverticula rupture in the colon, causing infection. Medical treatments such as antibiotics and surgery can treat diverticulitis (diverticulosis).
Ear TubesWhen a child has repeated middle ear infections or fluid build-up in the ears, which causes problems with speech or hearing, surgery to place tubes inside the ear is often recommended. The surgery is called myringotomy. Preparing your child for this procedure will help comfort them, and knowing what to expect before, during, and after surgery is important as well.
FaceliftA face lift is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess facial skin to promote a more youthful appearance. Potential complications of the procedure include
- asymmetry, and
- loss of muscle function or sensation.
Low Back Pain (Lumbar Spine Pain)There are many causes of back pain. Pain in the low back can relate to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen, and the skin covering the lumbar area.
Lung Cancer SlideshowLearn about lung cancer early warning signs, symptoms and treatments. What causes stage IV lung cancer? Get more information on small cell lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and the diagnosis of lung cancer stages.
Sinusitis SlideshowSinus infection (sinusitis) symptoms can include headaches, a sore throat, and toothaches. Antibiotics and home remedies can relieve sinus infection symptoms.