Questions To Ask Your Surgeon When Trust is not There

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When you are considering Surgery, no matter how minor, it would be a good idea to get all the facts before making a decision. We know we get that fear with so much terminology as soon as get get into a Hospital, but in the end you are the interested party and you have to start asking questions.

Medical malpractice is rampant and if you don't take heed, you will join another "accidental procedure statistical" that went wrong. Here are some questions that you can ask your surgeon so that you are better informed and be on your 'safe side' bed.

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  • Do I need this freaking surgery like now or in a few days?

Make sure you understand how the operation can improve your medical condition or problem. Just as grandam told ya: You have to see alternatives for that little cut. Whenever you go to the mechanic, the question comes naturally, but when you are in a colder environment; for some psychological reason uneasiness takes hold of certain people. Make sure you understand how long the benefits should last. Another reason to have in consideration is... can you lose or gain by postponing or not having the surgery? Meanwhile get yourself informed and come up with more resourceful questions.


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  • What is the operation (procedure) that is recommended?

Now you can print this article and be ready to ask this: Can your surgeon supply you with a brief explanation of the type of operation, technique used, and reasons it should be performed? Is not that they want to play 'hookie,' but your life is at the hands of persons that have made mistakes before, and you want to go home safe. You have mad plans and you don't want to cancel that plane ticket.

Pictures and drawings can tell a family members and yourself a lot. Worst case scenario you can ask for a YouTube link, where you can check yourself. Funny to say, that most Physicians chose C-Section over natural delivery. Why? They want to get the most from your insurance, and if they want to stick you one procedure, you gotta have the guts to ask over and over. Just be ready to ask questions like "Why was this specific procedure chosen over possible alternatives?"

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  • How Much Will It Cost?

Find out about the surgeon's fees, Hospital costs and fees from referral doctors that will take over. In New Jersey, Physicians fees are charged separate from the Hospital fees. You must check the insurance coverage with a representative. A toll free number should be available in the back of your insurance card. You should be aware of the deductibles and fees when you go outside your network coverage. Websites are already waiting to answer frequent questions, and you need some answers.Take 3o mins that can save you 30 years, like an insurance ad claim!


  • Are There Alternatives?

Health conditions can be improved by dietary changes or go 'back to the board' and choose medication or treatments like special exercises. If you have your car in the shop, you can suggest alternatives to your oil changes (synthetic, or recycled). Or come closer and ask the mechanic to check on your tire pressure. There is not a rigid rule to follow. All doctors can give you different diagnostics and you are old enough to see in their eyes and trust your guts. Waiting to see if a problem gets better or worse over time may be an option.

  • Very Important -- What Are The Risks?

Knowing in advance a procedure's possible complications and 'side effects' can help you weigh benefits and risks. Surgeons slightly avoid to run into this question, because is just too stressful to reveal dangerous effects of a drug, or an intervention. If you think you can handle this news, then go ahead and ask.

  • What kind of anesthesia is required for the procedure?

May sound too technical, but you just fixate your memory in two words: General or local. There is not much to think about it. Is a general anesthetic necessary? Can the procedure be performed under local or regional anesthesia? Are sedatives or other medications required prior to the procedure? What are the risks of the type of anesthesia to be used? Is it really painful when your already sent home and you depend on your own painkillers? By asking all these questions you will instill respect from them...and don't worry, is your money and your life..! Too bad if they make eyes, all because they forgot to text to their partner or relative.

Researching a Surgeons's Credentials

Like we said before, around 200,000 American patients die from preventable medical mistakes each year, it becomes vitally important that we take some control over which Physician is the safest.

First of all, if you are checking a list of doctors on your insurance's website, you have time to start finding his background. If you go to peoples dot com, you will be asked to pay a fee. But the good thing is you have this surgeons relatives for further research. Just type your name and age and some relatives of yours will pop up. By having is name you can go straight to a FaceBook account and even twitter (Through his website live feeding). You can get a glimpse of the real person behind a doctor.

Go next to find out if this Physician is really licensed. His website will entice you to choose his services, but just get sensitive info from there like address and phone number. Each state licenses doctors. You can look up licenses at your states's physician licensing board. With no license, the doctor is not allowed to practice medicine.

Is this doctor board-certified? The average patient do not even think to go this far, but how important is this? We are going to give you the link and decide once and for all! Surgeons and doctors will give you the bona fide confidence, but you gotta be on top of the game and find out.


The quick and last thing you can do is Google, "malpractice" along with "his name."

Questions asked by Hubbers on FaceBook

How will I be sure he won't have his way with me while I am unconscious?

First of all no Surgeon is alone in the operating room anymore. Unless you have George Clooney playing the part, ya know? Is up to you. "You own that body."


Should I mark the leg THEY are supposed to cut off, so they don't remove the good leg?

Believe or not this has happened before. Kelley Ward can agree with us. Sometimes doctors are in a rush and cannot even read their own writing. So, just mark the darn leg with a magic marker, before you are put to sleep!!!


How about "where is the escape route?"...

If you want to play Ethan Hunt from Mission impossible, stop by the Fire department and tell the Fire Marshall we sent you. Get the scaping routes blueprints and air conditioned outlets(You never know). Is not that we do not trust our Surgeons, but... and but, when I had to take my wife to see a gynecologist, I made sure I was there. If our Pilots have a copy of the Octomom on Playboy while telling you that the sky is blue and temperatures are about 82 degrees... and you will make to Miami in 2 hours 45 minutes, then worry about his hands...!!

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Comments 39 comments

kj force profile image

kj force 4 years ago from Florida

lord de cross...Very informative hub, thank you for bringing this matter to attention..too many people do not question their doctor regarding medical procedures,until it is too late..other questions to ask are..recovery process?

and anticipated outcome ? Oh and don't forget to ask about the Physicians experience with this procedure ! some do not like to be questioned, BUT..take the responsibility anyway..it's your body !


josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

lord,

This is an excellent hub! So many people fail to ask these questions; I hope this helps people out there. Very unique idea for a hub, I wish I thought about it, :) Just kidding, another job well done, keep em coming lord!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

Very good hub that is useful for anyone that is contemplating having surgery. Too many don't ask questions as all, as I saw this often in nursing. Voted up and useful.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I've only had one surgery, twenty years ago, and no return problems. Your questions are excellent; it is a scary time for most and answers to these questions are needed to help the fear subside.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

This is great advice for any one who may be facing surgery. I am always afraid of anesthesia. When I was a child I had surgery on my ear. This was back in the day when they knocked you out with a gas mask. I remember being so terrified of it that I pretended to be dead so they would take it off. I don't remember much after that. Very well organized and well written.


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland

We have a different kind of insurance in Finland. Health care is really cheap compared to the US, I think. Surgeries are done in hospitals by the doctors there. You don't choose the doctor yourself. I'm really surprised that c-sections seem to be common in the US. In Finland you must have a very special reason to have a c-section.

This hub is very well written and I'm sure it can guide many people to making the right decision before a surgery. Good job!


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Very good information Lord, surgery can be so scary. Your hub will be helpful for many people.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Very good information and you are so right! My step dad is an anethesiologist so I am always hearing him say stuff like that. Also - make sure to have a good phycial work up and a complete health history available for the surgeon!

Voted and shared - up and excellent!


kelleyward 4 years ago

This is sooooo important Lord! As a nurse I cannot believe how many people have surgery without asking a question. Then when things turn out badly they can't understand how it happened. Gone are the days when we could just trust and rely on doctors or nurses to do what is best for us as a patient. We must now be our own advocates and also the advocate for our family members and friends. Voted up and awesome and shared on Twitter. Kelley


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Great advice my friend Lord.. I am going for tests the end of this month where they put me to sleep.. they will not do surgery unless the doctors find it necessary.. Great read

Debbie


ashish04joshi profile image

ashish04joshi 4 years ago from India

Good one...being a doc myself, I know and appreciate that people are getting more aware of their rights. A doctor see over 50 patients a day on average and if in 10 years of practice he happens to go wrong somewhere once, I believe he can be forgiven for that.

No doc wants to land his patients in trouble, there are only some who are 'really' crooked. But yes, these things too happen and I too have seen once, if only it won't have been corrected in time, it would have been a disaster.

Nice hub lord de cross!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

Is in inappropriate to ask your surgeon if you keep your spleen after removal as a keep sake? If he says no I would like to ask him what he plans on doing with it.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

You are 'right on' with this article. Many mistakes are made in the operating room. I like the idea of marking the correct limb, they removed the wrong leg in a hospital near me. I spent a short time in surgery during my years in nursing. Thank's for this informative piece. The George Clooney bit had me LOL..Cheers.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Ha! Funny Lord...yeah I think I always have an escape route planned..and socks. I hate they won't let you wear socks so I always talk them into letting me:) LOL

@Tammy...interesting! I'm gonna call my dad and ask!!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Lord - and Tammy - I called and asked what would happen if a patient asked to keep something like a spleen. Well first, my step dad thought I might have gone the rest of the way around the bend, but I told him why I wanted to know! hahaha

He said actually so many people will say things like "so can I keep the tonsils," but it is just nervous chatter. He said if the patient was a nag..haha...they might show them the tonsils to shut them up. (haha gotta love this!)

Ok so then I asked what would they do with a spleen after they remove it - like do they just drop it in file 13 or what? He said they send it to pathology where it will be sliced, diced and they will test it for many things, diseases etc., or why it had to be removed. Then if there is any thing left...lunch time! LOL Not really...he said they incinerate it:) So for morbidity sake...there ya go!


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Josh,

The idea was to help people to get hold of their own rights. Not because you are in a hospital it means you are safe. Thanks!

@Pamela99, thanks for checking on us. Not that we had surgery yet. Your words confirm what we said, most people don't dare to ask questions at all. This can lead to bad situations. Much appreciated for your kind comment.

@ Bill, thanks for leaving an important comment. America is becoming of age, and people know better, how hard it is to keep up with health care and insurance...when jobs are not there. Glad you enjoyed the read.

@ Tammy, we didn't go that far as having a mask. But did have surgery. Your concerns are understanding. New techonlogy is taking over, but is being handled by novice young Physicians. Thanks!

@Made,

Wow, looking at your Country I see that common sense and practicality weighed upon the burden of a state run system. Our Doctors are tied handed to this health care mammoth and are prone to make mistakes....but 200,000 a year?


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Christy Writes, Thanks for your valuable comment. This tips will help lots of patients that will be ready to ask the indicated questions. Sort of breaking the ice at home, before facing instrumentals and the terminology.


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Yes RHW,

A health history, and data from previous surgical interventions are a must. Your step dad is cool! He will have to bear with our silly questions. Coffee? Local? or general?


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Debborah Brooks,

Your doctor has an angel in his hands, so we know God will guide his brain and final diagnose. You are too important to us. Just double check with our hub. Thanks


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Kelley Ward,

We think is the tense waiting at the triage room, or the clinic, adding the cold temperatures... and wanting to go home as soon as possible, makes people become apathic and less eloquent. Thanks for commenting!


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Ashish04joshi,

You being a doctor know the pressure and the way how things work at the Hospital. We agree with you about mistakes and errors, but 200, 000 a year only in America? Something is not rigth in here. Unless some doctors have invested in Funeral homes and other investments.


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Tammy please! This is a serious hub....wel sort of! I think Kelly took her time and bothered her step dad just to answer your question. But seriously, who would like to keep my own spleen?


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Always exploring,

How could they miss the target by 50% chance? Either they didn't care of they were having a shift turn. I don't want to talk about drugs or any other substance. Surgeons have been entrusted with a sacred labor and they should apprecite life as we do appreciate their pockets. Thanks Rubi!


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

So the story goes like this: Kelly had the time and called her dad( she put an important hub in the making away). And got her dad's tonsils...I meant to say, opinion about Tammy's concerns (morbid?) We wanna thank you Kelly for that informative spleen research, and please, don't talk about it when we eat a steak.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

I was being serious. I would throw it away though. I just don't want it to go into beauty products or dog food. That would just be.. wrong. I wonder what that surgeon did with my wisdom teeth?


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Hahaha! Oh Tammy, You are something else. Thanks for the chuckles though! As for the Wisdom teeth we should ask Kelly's dad again.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

Realhousewife,

Thank you so much for looking into my question. I really do want to know what they do with these things- mostly because I am big on organ donation. I really fear they donate these things for health products and hot dogs.

On a lighter note, this hub reminds of some advice someone gave me when I was graduating high school. He told me that if I wanted to go into a job where I could get lots and lots of tips, I should consider the circumsion unit at my local hospital. I went into law instead.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Even with questions, lord de cross, there are some things surgeons aren't apt to reveal. My 84 year old mother had a faulty heart valve acquired with scarlet fever as a child. Last summer, after tests and consultation with a cardiac surgeon, she underwent bypass heart surgery. I got a call from the hospital late that night to come to ICU as my mom was experiencing a side effect that surgeons don't broadcast, as many patients would be too afraid to risk the surgery. When I got to the ICU, my mother didn't even know where she was, and kept trying to get out of bed, hallucinating that she was at home and the staff in the hallway were neighbors walking along her sidewalk at home and attempting to steal her things. No amount of reassurance or explanations could assuage my mother's fears. She began experiencing "Sundowners syndrome" while in the hospital. As the light changed in her room at dusk, she expressed confusion thinking she was in a different room. A year since her bypass surgery, my mother now suffers dementia. After the fact, the surgeon's assistant explained that there is a term for the brain damage sometimes caused on the bypass machine, namely "pumphead". In researching this phenomena online, I discovered that surgeon's do not relay this common occurrence, especially in the elderly, as many would forego the surgery for fear of dementia. This condition will not improve and has increasingly affected my mother's ability to remain independent. She can no longer drive and must rely on me to assist her with grocery shopping, doctor appointments, laundromat, banking, and all tasks away from home and soon, will need 24/7 help. My mother's confusion now rules her life and leaves her frightened with her greatest fear...in being a burden.

This is a very important topic that everyone needs to be aware of for any upcoming or down the road surgical procedures. At some time, most of us will need some type of procedure. This should be required reading. Thank you


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Darn! Amy, I feel as though you were family. These things shouldn't have happened. Surgeons should warn patients and their family. A friend of mine was prescribed the wrong medicine dosage and when he came to see me he had lost 45 pounds; 3 months later he was death. We need to get educated. This is not 1980, where TV ruled the world. We have the net and all the info of the world at our fingerprints. Dear readers, just check Amy Becherer's plead, and take heed. Doctors need to know that we are going to be a pain in their neck. Thanks Amy! Next time I hear about Bypasses, I will ask those silly questions!

Lord


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Oh My..! Tammy! I don't want to get this hub unpublish by any missunderstanding. The bears are there in western PA for their share of the deal from ...our jokes! I guess Kelly will stop by to get us some answer, related to spleen and wisdom teeth.


LaThing profile image

LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

@Amy,

Wow, that is some side effect! My father, and my uncle have had bypass surgery, but we were never informed of this.... Thank God, nothing happened to them. Sorry, to hear about your mother being effected with this. I am glad you brought it to our attention, so many people go through this surgery without knowing these issues!

Interesting article, J. De Cross. Thanks for the info......


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

LaThing, When my mom had the consult with the cardiac surgeon, my aunt and mom's brother (my uncle) and I were all in attendance. We asked a number of questions, of course, but had no idea about this kind of problem. If I had been savvy about the fact that the patient is sustained by the bypass pump rather than on their own power, it might have occurred to me that the changes in oxygen saturation, blood flow/pressure and amount of time on bypass could impact the brain. Ultimately, my first awareness was when I was talking to the ICU nurse, who used the word "pump head", to describe an occurrence common enough to have earned the medical equivalent of a slang term. When I researched it online, after the fact, I learned that surgeons purposely avoid informing patients, because they realize that patient fear of such a dramatic side effect will keep some patients from having the surgery. It is unfair, at the least, to withhold information regarding the possibility of life altering consequences. What is the point of a consult, if the whole truth and nothing but, is not put on the table. I realize that my mom, at the rate her heart condition was rapidly deteriorating, would not still be alive today without the surgery. But, I feel that telling a patient less than the full scope of risks, is ultimately, taking the decision out of the hands of the patient and leaving it in the hands of the surgeon. "First, do no harm" starts with honesty in gaining patient trust.


LaThing profile image

LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

You are right, Amy, this type of surgery cannot be avoided, but the family should know the side effects just to be mentally prepared! I hope the doctors change their ways and are more open with the patients and their families. Thanks for this valuable information.....


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Thanks again Amy Becherer, and Thanks LaThing. There is nothing more valuable than life. Surgeons are suppose to be life savers and not accidental butchers. This was terrible Amy. What people do not see is that, it can change your life and the way you see the world. Can affect relationships and even trust. Hope people understand that asking a few questions can really make a difference between life or death.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 4 years ago

lord de cross, Nice thought provoking, informative hub! Thank you for reminding us we have a right to ask questons. What a number of interesting responses as well! Afterall it is our health and life that is at stake on the operating table! There can be serious complications! So I hope everyone makes sure that they PRAY before going under... As you wellstated in your comments; "There is nothing more valuable than life!" AMEN! Peace & Blessings! This was very good! Voted up!


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Hi DeBorrah K. Ogans,

We just started writing some loosen thoughts and when it was over, we just left it like that. We hate hospitals and have had bad experiences. Just forgot to add the insurance scams and the corruption. We just need to pray..and wahtever God puts in their brain, will be a blessing in disguise. Loved your comments and thanks for reading us!


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Thanks Moussa83. Hope you have a great weekend. Nice to meet you in here!


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 4 years ago

Wow! This is a hub everyone should print out! I like the comparison you make with our body and our cars. As sad as it may sound, sometimes we ask more questions when it comes to our car's "health" than our own. Keep writing more excellent hubs!!


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Hi Silver Q, we appreciate your visit, and as you said it: we ask more questions in a dealership and leave questions about our health for later on. The healthcare industry knows better and wants to profit the most. Having you in a place where temperatures are below 14 degrees doesn't help much either. Thanks again!

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