How to prepare for your first consultation ahead of surgery

Meeting with your surgeon for the first time to discuss your condition and treatment options can be scary, particularly if you’ve never had surgery before.

Preparing ahead of your first consultation with your surgeon and making a note of the questions you want to ask will take the stress out of the situation and help you get the most out of your appointment.

What to bring with you to your first surgery consultation

Make sure you bring any medical information with you to your consultation that might be useful to your surgeon. This could include MRIs, CT scans or X-rays. This will give your surgeon insight into the history of your condition and could save you time if your imaging is recent and reflective of your current condition.

It’s also a good idea to bring information on your current medications or any conditions that might affect your suitability for surgery.

The 7 key questions to ask your surgeon at your first consultation

You no doubt have some questions about your condition and potential treatments, as well as about how surgery works. The best thing you can do is to write down any questions that come to mind so you can take a list with you to your first consultation.

Here are seven important questions you should ask your surgeon during your appointment.

  1. Why is the surgery needed? This is a good starting point to gain a better understanding of your condition, the surgical procedure itself and its benefits.
  2. How much experience do you have with the surgical procedure you are recommending? It’s important that you choose a surgeon that is experienced and qualified in your treatment area so you can feel confident that you will get the best result.
  3. What is the success rate of your recommended procedure? Asking this question will give you peace-of-mind that other people with your condition have experienced a full recovery through the recommended surgical procedure.
  4. What are the benefits of this surgery? After all, you want to know that this treatment is the best option for you before you move forward with it.
  5. What are the risk factors associated with surgery? Understanding the risk factors will help your surgeon and yourself prepare for a safer surgery. Risk factors might include, for example, obesity and smoking.
  6. What will recovery involve? How long can you expect recovery to be from your surgery? Your surgeon will be able to provide insight into when you can return to normal activities again, such as work, driving and exercise.
  7. How can I prepare for the surgery, both physically and emotionally? Your surgeon will be able to provide some tips and suggestions on any medications, foods or lifestyle habits you may need to avoid leading up to surgery. They will also be able to share some ideas on relaxing leading up to the day and what you can do to prepare your home for recovery.

One of the best things you can do ahead of your surgery is to gain a full understanding of your condition and how the treatment and recovery works. Dr Stuart MacKenzie, one of the top Orthopaedic Surgeons in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, has created a range of free specialist e-guides to help get you started.

orthopaedic surgery information kit CTA

12 Aug 2019

Published by Stuart MacKenzie

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