Being admitted to hospital for surgery or other medical procedures can be a challenging experience. When you see your specialist, you may be anxious and you may easily forget to ask some important questions. Most of these questions will be answered at the time of your consultation but it’s a good idea to use the following questions as a guide. (NB: Some questions are suitable only for surgeons.)
CHECKLIST: QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR SPECIALIST
What may happen to me if I do not have the procedure?
Can you describe exactly what you intend to do?
How necessary is this procedure?
How urgent is this procedure?
How long will I have to wait for my procedure?
How long do you expect the procedure to take?
What type of anaesthetic (general or local) will I need?
What are the risks associated with the procedure?
What are the risks associated with the anaesthetic?
Will I need a blood transfusion?
Will you or someone else perform the actual procedure?
At which hospital will the procedure be done? And do you do many of these procedures?
Will I need any tests before the procedure? What are they?
Is there anything I should/shouldn’t do before the procedure?
How long will I be in hospital?
What happens after the procedure and how can I expect to feel?
What sort of follow-up care will I need after I leave hospital?
How long will I be away from work or unable to perform routine tasks that I now do?
How much will it cost me? (procedure, tests, follow-up visits, total)
Are there alternatives to the procedure for me?
What should I do if my condition gets worse while I’m waiting for the procedure?