8 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Endoscopic Surgery
What should you expect from endoscopic surgery?
Long before you check into the hospital, you need all the facts about
endoscopic surgery. Here are eight questions to ask your doctor.
- What do I need to do before endoscopic surgery? Your
doctor should tell you about any preparations that you need to take - such as
restrictions on eating the night before the operation. Make sure you understand
exactly what you can and can't do.
- What happens during the minimally invasive operation? If
your surgeon tells you that a procedure will be minimally invasive, get
specifics. Find out where the incisions - or ports - for the instruments will
be and how many of them will be needed. Ask how long the operation will
- What are the side effects of endoscopic surgery? After any
surgery, you should expect some pain. But it might not be where you expect. For
instance, the ports for endoscopic surgery may be far from the site of your
operation. So be clear on where you will feel discomfort, how severe it will
be, and how long it will last.
- What will happen if you need to switch to open surgery?
Occasionally, a surgeon must convert a minimally invasive surgery into
traditional open surgery. Find out how likely this is in your case. Ask how it
might change the side effects or recovery time.
- How long until I recover? Some minimally invasive
procedures can be done on an outpatient basis, but others can't. You need to
have realistic expectations for your recuperation. Get specifics. Ask whether
you'll need any physical therapy.
- What medicines will I need? You will probably need
painkillers after the operation. Find out the name and ask about the side
effects. Make sure that the medicine won't interact with any other drugs that
you need. Ask what to do if your pain reliever isn't helping enough.
- What are my aftercare instructions? Your doctor should
provide you with specific instructions for how to take care of the incision at
home. Make sure you understand them. Also, ask about signs of infection or
complications you need to watch out for.
- What happens after I recover? Find out how often you'll
need to schedule follow-up appointments. Ask whether you are likely to need
further surgery in the future.