Find Advice and Support
If your doctor tells you that you have a health problem, you will need to make decisions about your treatment. For many conditions, you may have several treatment options. How do you decide what’s best for you?
Find good information.
Contact a group that has information about your condition. You can also visit a local library to research your conditions. Use medical sites, like www.healthfinder.gov, to help you find information.
Make your decision with your doctor.
Once you’ve learned as much as you can about your condition, you and your doctor can choose what to do next. Look at the benefits and risks of each treatment for your condition and choose the treatment with which you’re most comfortable. When you’ve made your decision, work with your doctor to create a treatment plan so you stay on track and know what to expect.
If your doctor says you need surgery, ask:
- Why do I need an operation?
- Are there alternatives to surgery?
- What are the benefits of surgery? What are the risks?
- What happens if I don’t have the surgery?
- Where can I get a second opinion?
- How many times have you performed this surgery?
- Where will the surgery be done?
- Will I need anesthesia? What kind?
- How long will it take for me to recover?
- How much will the operation cost?
It’s normal to be concerned about your condition. You may want to ask your family and friends for their help. If you have a tough time asking for help, think of what you need and ask one person to help you with the easiest chore on your list. You may also want to speak to a counselor or join a support group.