The single most important way you can stay
healthy is to be an active member of your own
health care team. One way to get high-quality
health care is to find and use information and
take an active role in all of the decisions made
about your care.
This information will help you when
planning for surgery.
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No surgery is risk free. It is important to learn
about the possible benefits and risks involved
in the surgical procedure you are about to have.
Research has shown that patients who are
informed about their procedure can better work
with their doctors to make the right decisions.
Getting a second opinion is important. Your
doctor, surgeon, health plan, or local medical
society can help you find someone who can
give you a second opinion. Before seeking a
second opinion, make sure your health plan
will cover this expense.
Before having surgery, ask your physician these
- What operation are you recommending?
- Why do I need the operation?
- Are there alternatives to surgery?
- What are the benefits of having the
- What are the risks of having the operation?
- What will happen if I don't have this
- Where can I get a second opinion?
- What has been your experience in doing
the operation? How many have you
- Where will the operation be done?
- What kind of anesthesia will I need?
- How long will it take me to recover?
- How much will the operation cost?
Remember, quality matters, especially when it
comes to your health. For more information
on health care quality and materials to help
you make health care decisions, go to Choosing Quality Care.
AHRQ Publication No. 01-0040d
Current as of May 2002
Quick Tips—When Planning for Surgery. AHRQ Publication No. 01-0040d, May 2002. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/quicktips/tipsurgery.htm