As a mom, you always have to be prepared for anything. Whether it’s a simple spilled glass of milk, crayon on the wall, or a broken lamp, kids are nothing if not unpredictable. Sometimes, however, life throws you a curve ball in the form of a medical issue. If you or one of your children ever need surgery, it can be a scary and daunting experience to face. Every procedure, no matter the size, carries some amount of risk. However, there are ways to lower those risks for you or your children. One of those ways is to do your homework and know what to ask your doctor.
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Most people don’t know what to ask before a surgery — we’re not all trained medical professionals. Thankfully, surgery isn’t something we need often. But, that means it is a new experience for many patients and they often don’t know what to expect. Recently, there was an article published that gave advice from actual doctors and medical professionals to patients to help them through the process. Below is some of the advice they gave.
One doctor, Dr. Berry Pierre, advised that patients should ask about any medical restrictions. Specifically, ask about any prescriptions you might be taking. Sometimes stuff you take everyday like aspirin can have effects, often negative ones, during surgery. Be sure to not only ask, but also tell your doctor about your medical history.
As moms, we often have to trust our ‘maternal instincts’ in a number of situations. Dr. John Mendelsohn said this can be a good thing. He said that you should trust your gut when you meet with the doctor. Do you feel confident in them? Do you trust them? If you don’t get a good feeling from them when you’re just in their office or patient room, would you really trust them when you or your children are on the operating table? You should feel like your doctor is trustworthy and accessible for any other questions.
Dr. Houtan Chaboki told patients to ask how their doctor prepares for each surgery. He says he always runs through the patient charts, photos, and tests before operating. He also discusses the plan with the rest of the surgical team. Your surgeon should do something similar. If you’re going to prepare for the surgery, the doctors and the rest of the staff should as well. Always check by asking for their plan.
Finally, you need to prepare for what happens after surgery. Often times people forget about that part. So Rebecca Lee, a registered nurse, suggested that you should ask about follow-up appointments. Doctors won’t always call you, so be sure that you know when you should make an appointment. Talk to your doctor about a timetable. Lee said that follow-up appointments are typically a week or two after the operation. Make sure you get a contact number for the doctor — you never know when you’ll need it.
We deal with a lot as moms. Sometimes when we feel like we just get things together, life comes back at us hard and fast. The calm before the storm. Sometimes that storm means surgery for you, your children, or a loved one. There are always risks, but if you know what to ask and prepare well ahead of time, you can make the process just a little easier and a little safer.