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Should You Have Surgery?
If your health care provider has told you that you need surgery, be sure to make informed decisions. Generally, surgeries are not emergencies; you have time to ask questions, decide whether or not it's in your best interest to have the surgery, review your options and even get a second opinion.
The National Institutes of Health recommends that you ask your surgeon any questions you might have, including these:
- Do the benefits of surgery outweigh the risks?
- What surgery is recommended?
- Why do I need surgery?
- Can another treatment be tried instead of surgery?
- What if I don't have the surgery?
- How will the surgery affect my health and lifestyle?
- Are there any activities that I won't be able to do after surgery?
- How long will it take to recover?
- How much experience has the surgeon had doing this kind of surgery?
- Where will the surgery be done – in the hospital, the doctor's office, a special surgical center or a day surgery unit of a hospital?
- What kind of anesthesia will be used?
- What are the side effects and risks of having anesthesia?
- Is there anything else I should know about this surgery?