Spine surgery is a huge decision, so it’s important to learn about the procedure and the doctor preforming the operation before you go under the knife. Today, we’ll explain five questions you should ask your surgeon before back surgery so the patient and the doctor are on the same page.
Five Important Questions
1. What operation are you preforming, and can you explain the process?
Your doctor should be able to clearly explain what surgical procedure he wants to preform, as well as the steps he’ll take to complete the operation. Oftentimes a procedure can be preformed in a few different ways, all which involve different risks. Your doctor should clearly explain all avenues before you elect to go forward with surgery.
2. What are the risks?
This is another important question that shouldn’t be overlooked. Although surgery has really improved over the years, all operations, no matter how minor, involve risks. Learn about the potential complications of the operation as well as what symptoms your should look for after the surgery is completed.
3. What are my non-surgical options?
Your doctor may cover this if you ask about all your options, but it’s another question to ask before surgery, especially if you have reservations about going under the knife. Ultimately it comes down to the patient’s decision, so if you want to try a non-surgical intervention, even if it has a smaller chance of long-term success, that’s completely up to you. That said, back surgery isn’t typically a doctor’s first course of action, so you’ve probably already exhausted some non-invasive treatment options.
4. How many times have you preformed this operation?
This question helps alleviate some of the potential stress of surgery. Odds are your doctor has preformed this exact procedure many times over, which should help put your mind at ease. You can minimize your risk of complications by choosing a doctor who has preformed the surgery and is thoroughly trained in what to expect during the operation.
5. What can I expect after a successful surgery?
The majority of your questions will undoubtedly surround the procedure yourself, but it’s also important to discuss life after surgery. Will you need to stay overnight? Will you need someone to drive you home? Will you need homecare for a few days after surgery? When can you drive or return to work after surgery? What symptoms signal a problem in the days after the accident. Knowing what to expect can help you plan and recover quicker after surgery.