Just as a surgeon needs to know all relevant patient information before operating, it’s critical for a patient to know about the procedure he or she is about to undergo. That is why it’s important for patients to have a list of questions ready for a spine surgery consultation.
What Type of Questions to Ask
From filling out new patient forms to meeting with a new spine specialist, a spine surgery consultation visit can be a little overwhelming. Having a list of questions ready for the doctor when you arrive will ensure all concerns are addressed and questions answered before undergoing surgery. But what type of questions should be asked?
Questions to Ask About Diagnosis, Treatment and Procedure
Be sure to ask in detail about the condition that brings you to a spine specialist, what their diagnosis is, how they came to that conclusion and the treatment options available. Some questions to ask include:
- What is your diagnosis of the symptoms?
- What treatment options are available? Which course of treatment is recommend and why?
- If surgery is recommended – please describe in detail what the surgery will entail, from start to finish. Who will be performing the surgery and how long will it take?
- What are the risk factors and possible complications of the surgery? What are the long-term effects?
- What can I do on my end to prepare for treatment and surgery to ensure it is as successful as possible?
Questions to Ask About Postoperative Care
Just as you asked questions about your diagnosis and the treatment plan it entails, you should ask questions about the postoperative period. Some questions to consider could be:
- What should I expect my recovery time to be?
- What does the post-operative process involve? What can I expect during this period of recovery?
- How long before I can go back to normal activities, including school or work?
- What are some complications I should look out for during my recovery time?
- What should I do if I notice any unusual symptoms?
- What are your expectations for recovery?
Find Out About a Surgeons Professional Background
Patients should never be afraid to ask specialists about their experience or history. When asking questions during your consultation, don’t be afraid to ask about a surgeon’s professional background and experience with the type of treatment that is being suggested. Some questions to ask include:
- Have you performed this surgery before? What is your success rate?
- How long have you been practicing? How long have you been performing this kind of surgery?
- Are you fellowship-trained?
When it comes to spine surgery preparation, a great specialist knows that providing the patient with as much information as possible makes him or her feel at ease and comfortable, which will make the healing process smoother. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.