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Questions to Ask Before Surgery

Deciding to have an elective surgery is a big decision.  It’s important to understand the risks and benefits of the surgery in order to decide whether the procedure is appropriate for you.

Here is a list of questions you could ask your surgeon as you prepare for your upcoming surgery.  It can be helpful to write your questions down ahead of time and bring them with you to the appointment.  Also, taking someone with you to the appointment can provide assistance with questions and interpretation of the surgeon’s answers.  

  1. What is the procedure and why is it recommended?
  2. How successful is the surgery in achieving my individual goals?
  3. What is the surgeon’s experience with this specific procedure?  Do they perform this surgery often?
  4. What are the alternative treatment options besides surgery?
  5. Will I need physical therapy before or after the surgery?  If I need it after the surgery, how soon can I schedule my first appointment after?
  6. What will my medication regimen be?  Will I need anesthesia and what medication will I be prescribed after the surgery?
  7. How easily accessible is the surgeon and their staff if I have questions or need anything throughout this process?
  8. What will my restrictions be after surgery?
  9. What can I do pre-surgery to optimize my post-surgery outcomes?
  10. If it is a lower extremity surgery, what will my weight bearing status be?  Will I have a brace?  Will I need a walker, crutches, or a cane?   
  11. If it is an upper extremity surgery, will I have a sling or bracing/splinting after?
  12. What does the surgery cost?
  13. Can I have the post-operative packet or folder of information ahead of time so I can study it before surgery?  This way I can know when I can first take a shower, how to manage my post-operative dressings (bandages), and other helpful tips to make me more comfortable as I recover.

If you are planning on having surgery and know that you will need physical therapy before and/or after, call Omaha Physical Therapy Institute today!


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