Even with some amazing breakthroughs in the healthcare industry, going into surgery can be quite stressful for patients. Many are unsure of what they can do to find the best surgical team or prepare themselves for the physical stress of a medical procedure. Whether you are getting ready for a life-altering operation or recently decided to take a look at your options for plastic surgery, here are a few tips that you can use to make sure you are in good hands.
Start with Referrals and Reviews
The easiest way to begin this process is to start asking for referrals and taking a look at online reviews. While you don’t want to choose a surgeon based entirely on reviews and referrals, they should help you narrow your options down. One of the best people to ask about medical specialists is your primary doctor. These individuals know the most about your general health, and they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Take a Look at Their History
After you have narrowed your choices to a few surgeons or medical centers, you can then begin researching them individually. The most important information you are looking for is how often they have carried out your particular surgery. You want to have a surgical team that is extremely familiar with your operation. They don’t need to focus on your type of procedure exclusively, but they should be carrying it out at least a few times every year.
Interviewing the Surgeon
Before having any procedure carried out, patients have the right to speak with the surgeon and other members of the surgical team. In addition to asking them about their experience, you should also inquire about the state of their facility. Their medical center should have cutting-edge safety features, such as smoke evacuation machines and an on-site emergency support space (ESS). Depending on your insurance and what type of procedure is being carried out, these initial consultation might be covered by your policy. Patients who would like to make these consultations easier can write down their questions beforehand. With the questions written down, you can be sure that you do not miss any key points.
Your surgical team should supply you with a full set of instructions for before and after your procedure. These instructions often include basic information such as what to wear and when you need to stop eating. There should also be suggestions on how you can prepare your home so that you remain as comfortable as possible during your recovery. If the instructions are unclear, then you should schedule another consultation with the surgeon to clarify the information. Even though every procedure is slightly different, you will also be given a basic timeline to follow during your recovery. That includes when you can begin bathing, exercising, and working.
A Second Opinion
Patients have the option to get a second opinion before any procedure is carried out. No matter how experienced your surgeon might be, it doesn’t take much for them to overlook small details regarding your medical history or overall health. As a general rule, patients should always seek out a second opinion if they have been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. You might also want to consider seeing another doctor if your original surgeon has suggested a major procedure for a medical issue that is not an emergency.
When it comes to invasive medical procedures, it is always better to err on the side of caution. All patients should feel completely confident that they are in good hands before, during, and after their operations.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.
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