6 Things Your Surgeon Should Know Before Surgery

Surgery is always a serious procedure and no less so when it involves your spine. If you have been referred to a spine surgeon there are several things you can do to prepare for that initial consultation with him or her to ensure the best possible outcome.

During the consultation, you can ask questions to get a better understanding of the diagnosis, treatment options, important preparation instructions, and the recovery process. It is important to understand all the details before choosing surgery as the treatment option for your condition.

Having a clear, detailed discussion with your doctor can help give you a better understanding of why surgery may be a good option for you, giving you the confidence you need to go into the procedure with a positive mind.

In fact, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that all patients do the following:

  1. Medical Records: Please bring copies of all relevant clinic notes from other physicians including your primary care physician.
  2. Imaging: Please bring the report and images of any x-rays, MRIs or other studies that may be relevant to your condition.
  3. Lab: If possible, bring a copy of your most recent lab results. It may prevent you from needing to have more lab tests requested.
  4. Medications: Please have a list of your medications and any supplements or over the counter medications you take. Include how you usually take them. Over the counter medications and supplements can affect your surgical outcome.
  5. Allergies: Please list any allergies including unexpected reactions to medications.
  6. Timeline: Please provide a timeline of your injury/pain/ or onset of symptoms. This is extremely helpful in formulating a treatment plan. Include the success or failure of other treatments you may have tried such as therapy medication, or chiropractic care.

This information can help lead to a final decision on the best possible treatment option for your condition. Along with this information, it is a good idea to be prepared to ask questions of your own. Some common questions to ask include:

  1. What is the source of my pain and why is surgery the best option for long-term relief?
  2. Am I a good candidate for surgery, and what would happen if I don’t have this surgery? Is there a chance I could get better without surgery?
  3. What are the risks of surgery for me?
  4. What types of surgery are appropriate for this condition? and why?
  5. What are the advantages of open surgery vs minimally invasive surgery?
  6. What are the side effects, potential complications of each type of surgery?
  7. Is minimally invasive surgery an option for my condition?
  8. Do you perform the entire surgery, or will other surgeons be involved?
  9. How many of these types of surgeries do you do?
  10. What are my odds for a successful surgery?

If you are concerned about being able to get through all these questions with your surgeon, don’t be. Having your questions and your answers to your surgeon’s questions ready may result in a bit longer discussion butwill result in a much more efficient and productive discussion. It will save you both from time-consuming follow up questions or worse going into a surgery with the anxiety of unanswered questions.

If your pain requires treatment by a professional to correct your back, neck, or spinal condition, 360 Back & Spine Center can be your solution. Our specialists offer a range of comprehensive treatments that include non-invasive options to help make it easier to live with many types of painful back, neck, and spinal problems.

Instead of suffering, learn more about the many benefits thatwe can offer you at 360 Back and Spine and how we can help Navigate Your Spine Back to Health, by calling (682) 223-1406.