There are times when a simple visit to your doctor won’t help with whatever ailment you’re dealing with. A common cold, a minor headache, or annoying aches and pains are typical reasons to set up a visit with your personal physician’s office. But in the case of something more serious, an operation might be needed. At its simplest level, a medical operation is a procedure performed on a living body, using medical tools and instruments to repair the damage. Such procedures are also used for the restoration of health, especially those that involve incision, excision, or suturing.
For most medical operations, the numbers are increasing. From c-sections to oral surgery, low back pain surgery, or the simple removal of wisdom teeth, there has been a growth in the overall amount of procedures and patients. Between the years of 2018-2023, the number of people who undergo surgery is expected to rise, leading to an estimated 144 million procedures. This is an increase from 129 million procedures recorded in 2018. The need for operations shows no signs of abating, so it’s advised to ask the best questions to ensure that your operation experience is a safe one.
In many cases, people don’t tend to know what to ask before going under the knife, as most individuals only have a basic level of understanding when it comes to anything medical related. However, there are plenty of questions that need to be answered to ensure the best operation possible.
1. Why do I need this operation?
Why seems like a simple enough question to ask. To some people, particularly those who are more nervous, it might even sound a bit silly to ask why that oral surgery is so necessary for your wisdom tooth removal or why do you need surgical treatment to remove a little discomfort. In the case of medical procedures, it’s best to follow the adage, “there’s no such thing as a stupid question”. Asking a trusted medical professional like Dr. Faustino Bernadett if an operation is needed, is the best place to begin before having surgery. Dr. Faustino Bernadett is a retired medical doctor and has heard every question imaginable. What you may perceive as a silly notion, Dr. Bernadett considers to be common questions.
The doctor might even say no, and suggest a less invasive way of dealing with the medical issue. For example, maybe that toothache that you’re dealing with can be remedied by a simple trip to the dentist, rather than through oral surgery. You’ll have no way of knowing if you truly need a surgeon unless you simply ask.
2. How will the operation take place?
A person might just want an idea of how a prospective operation will occur. What types of tools will be involved? How many doctors and nurses will be there to assist? Will it take place at night or during the daytime? Having questions like these answered can go a long way with helping to decide on the importance and procedures of the operation, and knowledge is a good way people can be assured that they are making the right choice.
3. What needs to be done in preparation for the operation?
Preparation is essential when it comes to getting ready for any operation. Certain types require preparation activities, and it’s best to know how rigorous or subtle these might be. Special diets, such as what needs to be avoided, or when might a person need to stop eating or drinking is all information that is completely necessary to the success of the operation. Beyond that, if there is any type of special preparation needed (tests, blood donations, change in medication routines) or should a home medication be taken on the day of the surgery, may be explained by a doctor previously, but there is nothing wrong with double-checking. After all, you will have a lot on your mind, it’s not uncommon to forget certain things.
4. What will recovery look like?
We get so worried about what the operation will entail, that a lot of people don’t think to ask about what happens afterward. Surgery recovery can be a taxing period. It’s best to ask your physicians about what might happen during recovery.
Some questions to bring up include: what type of at-home care will you need to provide for yourself? How soon will you be able to return to everyday activities (such as working, driving, and exercising)? What personally can you do to help with your recovery? Will you need the assistance of private care, or can your family help? Having these questions answered can help prepare you for life immediately after surgery, and ensure that you are back to full health sooner. It is important to note, that the post-surgery period, and what it involves, are often just as, if not more, important than the operation itself. So, no question is off the table here.
5. What are your anesthetic options?
Anesthesia comes in three forms. Local, which numbs one small area for a period of time, during which, a person will stay awake and alert. Regional, which blocks pain in a particular area of the body, such as the arm or leg. Finally, general anesthesia, which renders a person completely unconscious for the length of time the surgery will take.
When it comes to anesthesiology, you might want to know how you’ll be put under. Ask these questions: How will the anesthesiologist admit the drug? Will you need to be seen in a pre-operative clinic? How will your anesthesia be monitored during surgery? Anesthesia treatment is a crucial part of the medical operation process, which often garners the most anxiety. It is helpful to ask questions about it, and not feel like you have to hold back. Remember, to professionals like Dr. Bernadett, there are no silly questions, and all involved in healthcare have only the patients’ best interests at heart. To them, the operation starts with providing peace of mind.