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Important questions to ask before a surgery

Getting a second opinion regarding any medical diagnosis and through Telehealth services it becomes easy for patients. In this process you may obtain numerous references about the same diagnosis which help you to take the proper decision and course regarding your medical or surgical condition.

The medical professionals advise that you ask the following questions from your surgeon before making any decisions.  

Besides surgery, what are the other treatment options available?

This helps you to know about different treatment options which are available and accessible for you. It is also important to know the risk and benefits associated with each procedure vs doing nothing or simple observation. You may not know about the other available options unless you ask for it. Do not forget to ask the success rate for any proposed procedure. Telemedicine solutions providers say that by seeking a second opinion, you may explore other treatment options which are just as effective as the surgery; may you also happen to discover that surgery is a far better choice for you considering your individual condition or health concern.

What will be the results of my surgery?

If you choose to have a surgery, first you need to start the information gathering phase of the process. You need to know for instance the recovery time for your individual procedure—whether doing a cosmetic facelift or major abdominal surgery, pain medications used pre-op as well as post-op; the probable physical limitations post-op along with the number of appointments for follow-up as well as possible need for physical or occupational therapy and the possible complications of surgery. How much time would you require to recover and what the levels of pain intensity would you expect and would that be permanent or short-term? It is important to evaluate all these points as it helps you to take proper decision. 

Are there any physical or physiological side effects to the procedure itself or any potential drug allergic reactions?

If you choose the option of surgery there is a definitive risk in experiencing allergic reactions to any medications used pre-operatively, intraoperatively as well as post-op. You may experience reactions to any medical equipment, devices, anesthetic medication or gasses, antibiotics or induction drugs being used. All medical as well as surgical procedures have known side effects to the various compounds, medical equipment and hardware used during the procedure. 

It is important for you to tell the surgeon, about any known food, drug, vaccine or environmental allergies before embarking on a surgical procedure. If you have a known allergy to a drug or anesthetic compound or say latex gloves for instance you can advise the surgeon and he and the anesthesiologist can devise a way to use alternative treatment options. There are many surgical bad outcomes due to the surgeon and patient not adequately coordinating certain health issues pre-operatively. A telemedical surgical consultation can easily obviate these and iron out the medical clearance process in coordination with you and your primary care physician. The surgeon can relay to you any information telemedically even days before the procedure.

Do I need to continue to take my prescribed medicines? 

Apart from telling your surgeon about your allergic reactions, inform them about your complete written list of prescribed medicines. Discontinuing certain key drugs can have grave consequences intraoperatively and post-operatively. You need to make a comprehensive list of all medications and supplements that you take and present it to your primary care physician, surgeon and even the anesthesiologist to avoid a bad outcome.

Concluding thoughts

Many people are hesitant to avail themselves of a second opinion as they may feel that they are being disloyal to the doctor, however, it is the patient’s prerogative and right as to seek a second opinion in order to make an informed decision. Telemedicine makes this process streamlined, painless and convenient, giving you timely new advice and perspective, while you are gathering information for a surgical procedure.

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