Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 22, 2016
Not long ago on the blog we shared a piece listing a number of questions that you should ask your doctor before you undergo spine surgery. These are great questions, and while all of them help you get a better understanding of your upcoming surgery, some questions are more important than others. Today, we list three questions that your spinal surgeon hopes you’ll ask prior to an operation, and we’ll explain why they are important questions to ask.
What can I do before surgery to put me in the best situation to have the best outcome after surgery?
Surgeons love to hear this question for one main reason – it showcases that the patient is serious about caring for their health both before and after the operation. Every patient wants to get better, but some expect medications or an operation to solve all their problems without any effort on their part. You’ll need to take an active role in your care both before and after surgery if you want to have the best outcomes, so this question signals to the surgeon that the patient is willing to put in the work on their end to achieve the best results.
Can you explain all my surgical and non-surgical options and the expected results for each management technique?
You might think this question is a bit tedious, but surgeons love going over all your treatment options because at the end of the day, you have final say in your care. Surgeons don’t know your goals or what’s most important to you, and they may inherently recommend operations that don’t align with your goals. By asking about your options and explaining what’s important to you, both you and your doctor will be able to come up with a solution that’s right for you. Also, by asking about the expected results for each technique, you and your doctor will be on the same page about where you are expected to be in your rehab and what may be signs of a post-op issue.
How versed are you in the precise operation, and have past surgeries gone as expected?
Now, a surgeon can’t go into too many specifics because of HIPAA laws, but it’s important to find the best surgeon for your specific procedure. Some surgeons may be more skilled in one specialty than others, and you want to find a doctor who has experience performing the precise procedure you need. A good surgeon will not get offended that you are asking about their experience and credentials, because if they truly are the right doctor they’ll be able to answer this question with confidence. If you don’t feel comfortable with how the doctor answered the question, don’t be afraid to look for other surgeons who might be a better fit. At the end of the day, it’s your body on the line, and you should only trust it to a surgeon who instills you with confidence.