If you are in need of hand surgery, you will need to set up a consultation with the hand surgeon. During the consultation, they will provide you with information about the procedure, and you will have the opportunity to ask a number of questions to get a better understanding of the entire process. Lets look at some of the questions you should be asking.
Why Is the Doctor Choosing This Procedure?
There are many different types of hand surgery, and the doctor will choose the one thats best for your particular condition. However, you can still ask for clarification as to why they feel it is the best option. In addition, you can ask the doctor if there are any alternatives to the procedure.
Ask the doctor what benefits the procedure offers over the other options, and what you can reasonably expect after surgery. How much of your pain will it relieve? Will it help to return mobility and flexibility to your hand? You will also want to ask the doctor if this is the only procedure you will need, or if it might need to be repeated later.
What Happens During the Procedure?
How is the procedure performed and what is involved with it? Does it require a large incision or will the doctor be using arthroscopic tools that only require small incisions? The doctor should ask you whether you have any allergies to medication or have had any allergies to anesthesia. Always be forthcoming with your medical history so there are no unexpected complications.
What Are the Risks?
While it is certainly important to know the benefits that the surgery can provide, you also need to make sure you understand the risks. Even safe surgeries will have some element of risk, and you need the doctor to be very clear about the potential risks and issues associated with the surgery.
How Do I Get Ready for Surgery?
Before the day of your surgery, you need to ask the doctor about what procedures you need to follow before you arrive. Depending on the type of surgery, and your particular case, they might have different requirements, so talk with the pre-op nurse so you understand what you will have to do.
How Long Is the Healing Process?
While patients will heal at different rates, even those who have the same procedure, your doctor should be able to give you a good estimate of how much time it will take to heal. Understand the doctors orders when it comes to recovery and follow them. If they are unclear, ask them about what you can and cant do during the recovery time. Will you need to have help at home after the surgery? The discharge instructions should be clear, and if they are not, have them clarified before you head home.
Will I Need Therapy?
Some patients may find that they need to have therapy after surgery so they can improve the mobility and flexibility of their hands. Get instructions from the doctor on what types of therapy you need.
If you have any specific questions, please visit or contact our office in West Bloomfield, Howell, Warren, or Macomb.