What to ask if you need surgery - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

What to ask if you need surgery

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What questions should you ask before undergoing a surgical procedure? What questions should you ask before undergoing a surgical procedure?
ATLANTA -

The doctor says you need surgery. Should you get a second opinion? And what if something goes wrong? It is hard to know what to do and the right questions to ask before undergoing the knife. So, what questions should one ask before facing surgery?

In Reader's Digest, surgeons come clean by sharing their top 50 secrets like operating on someone will sometimes pay 10 times more than treating the ailment you without surgery. They state that a quarter of all surgeries may be unnecessary. One surgeon even suggests scheduling surgery early in the week so your surgeon will be around if you have any complications.

Emory Hospital veteran surgeon Edward Lin says a lot of patients are thrown off-guard by the idea they need surgery.

"And I tell patients, 'Come back, we're not going to sign on the dotted line to have surgery today. Come back, let it sink in a little bit, think of more questions, next time bring somebody with you,'" says Dr. Lin.

If you need a high-risk operation, or one that's not very common, Dr. Lin says always get a second, or even a third, opinion.

"For me as a physician, there isn't a time when I don't tell a patient please go for a second opinion. This is not a time for surgeons to be proud," says Lin.

Talking with a second surgeon lets you digest the news, do a little research, and ask the right questions. Lin says ask about potential complications, who you can call if you have a problem, and what to expect that first week after your operation.
 
"On the day of your surgery, you the patient, the family and the surgeon and the staff we all have to be on the same page. We all have to be at peace on what we're going to do. We all have to be on the same plan. Including what our plans are if there's a problem," says Lin.

Dr. Lin says you need to also have a backup plan in case you have to stay in the hospital longer than expected. So think ahead about thing such as who may need to take care of your kids or your parents and even your pets.

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