You will have an
appointment with your surgeon before your surgery. For this appointment, take
list of questions about the surgery(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand your treatment.
will explain why your surgery is needed, what it will involve, what its risks
and expected outcome are, and how long it will take you to recover. Talk to
your surgeon about any concerns you have about the surgery. You may also want
to ask about treatments you might try other than surgery.
Most surgery centers and
hospitals have a before-surgery form for you to fill out. This form usually includes
questions about your medical history and current health.
information helps the surgical team prepare for your surgery. They are trained
to provide you with safe care during your surgery. You most likely will complete the
form 1 to 3 days before your surgery.
Talking to your surgeon
Talk to your surgeon about what kinds of
surgery you have had in the past. Describe your recovery period, and be sure to mention any
problems you may have had.
Describe any health problems you have,
- Heart problems. Also tell your
doctor if you have a
- Lung problems, such as
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary
- Sleep apnea.
- Any allergies to
foods or any substance, including latex, tape, adhesives, anesthetics, or other medicines. You may also be asked whether any family members have had reactions
- Any bleeding problems or use of blood-thinning
medicine, such as aspirin, clopidogrel, or warfarin.
- A current—or recent—cold, flu, or fever.
It's important to
tell your doctor about any tobacco, alcohol,
illegal drugs, or medicines you use. This includes over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements, such as
St. John's wort and diet aids. Your use of substances or medicines may affect your reaction
anesthesia or pain medicines.
any physical restrictions you have, such as an artificial joint or limited
range of motion of your neck, arms, or
Let your doctor know if you have any metal implants or
fragments in your body.
Tell your surgeon if you
are or might be pregnant.
Tests before surgery
Before surgery, your surgeon may also ask you to see your regular doctor for an exam and possibly for tests. A surgeon may ask this to make sure that surgery is not likely to be too hard on you. The tests may include:
You may also be scheduled for other tests, such
X-rays or an
electrocardiogram (EKG), if your surgeon thinks they
are needed before your surgery.
Your surgeon may include other
doctors in your care, depending on your other medical conditions. For example,
if you have heart problems, your surgeon may discuss your care with a
If you have many medical problems, your
regular doctor may do your physical exam before surgery. To help make sure that
no problems are missed, you may find it helpful to have a doctor who knows you well
do this exam and your medical history.