YOUR HEALTH: What to ask before going under the knife

First, find out if the surgery is really necessary.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 5:17 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2023 at 6:52 AM CDT
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Fifteen million people have some type of surgery every year in the US. For those who are deciding or have already decided to go under the knife, Ivanhoe has some questions you should ask before heading into the OR.

From hip and knee replacements to back and heart surgeries, millions of procedures are performed every year. But what should you ask your doctor before going under the knife? First, find out if the surgery is really necessary.

Gregory Gasbarro, MD, Orthopedic Shoulder Surgeon at Mercy Medical Center says, “If it gets to the point where they’re miserable, can’t sleep at night, then we mutually make the decision to proceed with the surgery.”

Doctors estimate 11 percent of medical procedures are unnecessary. Ask why the procedure is needed, are there any other treatments, is surgery typically recommended for your condition, and what would happen if you don’t have the surgery. Next, find out what to expect after surgery. Ask how many people out of 100 with your condition who get this surgery typically feel better afterward, what’s the likelihood that you will fully recover and what the cost would be. Then get a sense of your surgeon’s skills by asking them how many of these procedures they have performed. Finally …

Parag Sanghvi, MD, MSPH Associate Professor at UCSD says, “If there’s ever a time where you feel like yes, something’s just not right here, get that second opinion, find somebody who may be a better fit for you.”

Especially, if your current doctor is not proposing any alternatives.

And, if you have already had your surgery, doctors say one of the biggest mistakes is doing too much too soon. So, be sure to follow your post-surgical instructions for best long-term recovery.

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