surgery
Medical Procedures

4 Things to Tell Your Surgeon before Your Operation

By Laura Ashbury

Doctors need as much information as possible to make good decisions while performing surgeries. Before you undergo your next surgery, let your doctor know about the following four things. What you say could influence the choices that your surgeon makes before, during, and after your procedure.

Your Health History

Don’t assume that your doctor has access to your entire health history. Make sure your doctor knows about the medications you take, any drugs that you’re allergic to, and any procedures that you’ve had. You should also include anything you know about health problems that run in your family. If several of your relatives have heart problems, for instance, your doctor should know before prepping you for surgery.

Don’t leave out information because you think it’s irrelevant. Your doctor has the knowledge and experience to make that decision.

Any Difficulties You Might Face at Home

Undergoing surgery can make it hard for you to tackle life’s daily challenges. Before having a surgery, you should tell your doctor about any difficulties that you might face at home. Common challenges include:

  • Steep stairs leading to your home’s entrance
  • Living in a remote area far from medical facilities
  • Children or pets that require care

Your doctor has probably talked to plenty of patients who have faced similar hardships, so he or she may have good advice that will help you adapt to the situation. In some cases, you may need to get help from a relative or hire in-home care to get you through the first few days of recovery.

Dietary Restrictions

Tell your doctor about any dietary restrictions so he or she can make sure you eat healthy meals that will help you recover after your surgery. You should tell the doctor about any food allergies that you have, but you should also tell him or her about religious or other restrictions such as vegetarianism. If you fast during Yom Kippur or other holidays, your doctor may want to reschedule your surgery so that it doesn’t conflict with your religious practice.

When Someone Will Take You  Home

Most medical facilities want patients to have help getting home after procedures. Even if you don’t need to drive, you may need help finding your way home safely. Remember that you will probably feel tired after your surgery. If anything unexpected happens, you need a trustworthy friend to help.

If no one can pick you up until a certain time, your doctor may want to change your discharge time to keep you as safe as possible. You can recover under the warmth of Bair Hugger’s patient warming system until your friend or relative arrives. A good medical facility will find a place for you to rest instead of letting you try to get home by yourself.

Some people feel too timid to inform their doctors of potential problems. Staying quiet only makes it harder for your doctor to do his or her job well. If a piece of information occurs to you, tell your doctor about it.