Are you looking for a great orthopaedic surgeon? Do you have an injury or issue that requires surgery? Whether you are just starting the process of finding the right orthopaedic surgeon or have found one that you like, there are several questions you might want to consider asking prior to having surgery.
No matter how minor or major your procedure seems, surgery is a big deal. Aside from the procedure itself, there are several factors to think about before taking the leap. When you meet with an orthopaedic surgeon, be sure to write down the questions you want to ask. Do not go into your surgery with unanswered questions or uncertainty.
Here are the top ten questions you should consider asking your orthopaedic surgeon before surgery:
- What insurance do you take? Even the top orthopaedic surgeon in your area isn’t going to be a perfect fit for you if they do not take your insurance plan. Some procedures can cost thousands of dollars. You need to be certain of your benefits and the coverage you have before settling with an orthopaedic surgeon.
- What will recovery look like? Depending on the type of surgery you are preparing to have, recovery can vary significantly. Do not make assumptions or rely strictly on internet searches to understand what your recovery will look like. Each individual is different. Factors like gender, age, weight and physical health can drastically impact the way your body heals. Ask your surgeon what you can expect starting on day one all the way through until you are fully recovered.
- What are your credentials? Information about a surgeon’s credentials should be readily available from their website. Some things to consider are researching the difference between a medical doctor (M.D.) and a doctor of osteopathy (D.O.).
- What is the success rate for this procedure? Don’t be afraid to ask about your surgeon’s past experience with your type of case. You want to make sure that your expectations are realistic.
- What is your experience with this specific type of surgery? Ask how many cases he or she has treated with this procedure. It is important that you feel comfortable with their experience level.
- What hospital or surgery center will you perform my surgery? Location might not seem like a big issue for some people. However, the facility itself can vary quite a bit. Is it close to your house? Will a surgery at a hospital mean a great risk of infection? Is there a greater likelihood of a delay at a hospital?
- Do you use any advanced technologies or innovative approaches to my specific condition? Simply knowing the number of cases treated is not enough to decide if this is the right surgeon for you. If a surgeon is using an old technique or approach as opposed to a newer, more innovative method, you might want to reconsider.
- Are there alternatives to surgery to treat my condition or issue? Orthopaedic surgeons do more than just operate. There are many non-surgical interventions to treat certain issues. Be sure to explore alternatives before making a final decision on your surgeon.
- What possible complications could arise from treatment? Be sure to ask the orthopaedic surgeon about both best case scenarios and any side effects or problems that could result.
- Are you fellowship trained in my specific area of need? Some orthopaedic surgeons complete residency and continue on to a fellowship program to further specialize in an area of expertise such as shoulder and elbow or foot and ankle. Some patients prefer to work with a surgeon that has received extra training with their condition or injury.
There are several other things to consider when looking for an orthopaedic surgeon. Click here to learn more.