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Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative
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Surgery:  What to Expect
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Questions to Ask Your Specialist

Prospective surgical patients can use the following questions to help guide their discussions with their specialist. Some of these questions pertain only to surgeons.

Why is surgery necessary at this time?
What alternatives to surgery do I have?
What are the risks if I choose not to have the surgery?
Can you describe exactly what this surgery involves?
How many of these procedures do you perform each year?
What is the anticipated outcome of the procedure?
What are the risks involved in this procedure?
How long will I have to wait for surgery?
What do I do if my condition gets better or worse while I wait for surgery?
What are the risks and side effects of the anaesthesia needed for this procedure?
If I have a flexible schedule, can I arrange to be contacted on short notice if there is a cancellation?
What can I do to help myself prepare for surgery?
Do I need to arrange for a ride when I leave the hospital?  Does my driver need any special instructions? What if I am flying home?
Do I need to get any special help or equipment after surgery – such as a coach, crutches, or a grab bar in the bathroom?
How long is the recovery period?  What is the recovery like?
How long will I be away from work or unable to perform routine tasks?
What types of follow-up care will I need when I leave the hospital?  Who arranges the care?
What should I do if I change my mind about having surgery, if I need to reschedule, or if my condition improves and I feel I no longer need surgery?

How much pain is there after this type of surgery? How can I manage the pain?















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