When you have been diagnosed with a medical condition, one option that may be open to you is a surgical procedure to correct the condition. While this is the only option in rare cases, there are other methods of treatment that can be considered in most situations. Before you accept surgery as the best course to take, follow these tips to make a better-informed decision.
Knowing When Surgery Is the Right Decision
Meet With a Surgeon
In most cases, a primary care physician will diagnose the medical condition and recommend surgery as a treatment. This will involve the doctor referring the patient to a surgeon. If you find yourself in this situation, you should schedule a consultation with the surgeon as early as possible. The consultation will help you learn more about the risks involved in the procedure, and the surgeon will tell you what outcomes you’ll most likely experience. You can also ask the surgeon about alternative types of treatment that you could consider instead of surgery.
Get a Second Opinion
You should also see more than one surgeon about your condition. A consultation with a second surgeon will confirm your need for surgery, or the second surgeon may recommend alternative treatments that may be less invasive or more effective. In many situations, physical therapy, medication, or other types of treatment can be just as effective. Even if you need the surgery, a confirming second opinion can help you feel more confident about undergoing the procedure.
Consider Aftercare and Recovery
You should consider what will be involved in the recovery process. Depending on the type of surgery you’re undergoing, aftercare may require plenty of bed rest and other care practices that will prohibit you from working for an extended period. If you’re in a difficult financial situation, you may not be able to take that much time from work. You should discuss this situation with your surgeon. You may be able to delay the surgery for a short period or undergo another procedure that requires less aftercare time.
You should also feel confident in the surgeon you choose to perform the procedure. Before scheduling your surgery, take the time to research the surgeon’s background and credentials. Ask them for referrals from previous patients, or ask the people in your life if that particular surgeon has ever treated them. Finding out more about their past will help you develop greater trust in your surgeon.