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Preparing For an Operation


Operations can be a particularly stressful thing for a number of people.  This is especially the case because a lot of people do not even like going to see the doctor, which is only compounded when one considers the stress that can be added to a visit to the hospital.  There are many reasons why you might need to have an operation and as one might expect an article of this nature is unable to consider every possible experience.  Rather, what this article will look at is some of the general things that you may wish to consider before having an operation and some of the important questions that you may wish to ask your physician in order to ensure that you are fully informed about the procedure you will undergo.  As always, should you require immediate medical attention or information with regard to a condition you have it is always recommended that you contact a trained and certified health care professional as soon as possible.


One of the first things you should think about upon realizing that you will in fact need an operation is why you are having it in the first place.  There are multiple causes for operations and it is important to have all of the necessary medical information about your condition to know what it is that will be done, why it is being done, what the outcomes will be and so forth.  In visiting hospitals prior to the operation it may be necessary for you to have any number of diagnostic procedures performed, which are not operations in of themselves but ways of gathering information in order to ensure that those who will be conducting the operation are fully prepared.  Such procedures may include an x-ray, MRI, or even a CT scan (also known as a CAT scan).  When you are in contact with health care professionals such as doctors and nurses do not hesitate to use that opportunity to ensure that you are fully educated about any of these procedures and that you feel confident and comfortable about the procedure in question.


One very important factor to consider before having an operation is cost and the situation with your health insurance company.  Operations can be very costly and you should know in advance exactly how much such a procedure will cost you, how much will be covered by your health insurance and so forth.  There are a number of available resources that can help you ensure that the operation in question is something that you have been sufficiently financially prepared for.  It is important to note that the costs of surgeons and hospitals do differ from hospital to hospital and surgeon to surgeon.  It is definitely also important to factor in just how much you will need to pay in order to accommodate any sort of hospital stay, long term or short term in nature, that will be required in order for you to fully or at the very least sufficiently recovering before heading home from the hospital.


Although this is more of a question for your doctor than your nurse you may wish to ask just how necessary is the operation in question.  It is important to understand not only what the risks are but what the desirable outcomes of such a procedure are hoped to be for you.  In some cases an operation may turn out to be only one of any number of potential options that you might be able to consider in order to remedy the condition that the operation is being proposed as a means of dealing with.  In some cases there are other choices to surgery.  One example we might consider would be in cases where people choose to have surgery to facilitate weight loss.  If you are considering such a surgery you might also want to weight the costs and benefits of an operation of this nature against the costs and benefits of perhaps a pharmaceutical regimen of some sort or a fitness regimen coupled with a specialized diet and whether or not some of these alternatives might in fact be found preferable to you than an operation.  In such a case an operation should be recognized for the serious procedure that it in fact is and should not in any case be consider as some sort of a quick fix to an immediate problem that could otherwise be fixed over the long term in a much less invasive manner.  In order to determine if there are potential alternatives to the operation you are considering, be sure to consult with your physician.  He or she will be able to give you the necessary advice for you to make an informed choice about your health and will hopefully ensure that you are comfortable with whichever choice you make and the potential outcomes of that choice.


Another thing that is very important to consider when potentially undergoing surgery is to understand just how serious the operation it self is and what are the realistic outcomes of the benefits that it will offer.  Are the outcomes long term, will you eventually require future surgeries as a means of repeatedly correcting a chronic problem?  Realistically, what sorts of outcomes are possible from such an operation?  It is important to ask questions such as these in order to ensure that you are not undergoing a potentially hazardous procedure without a complete understanding as to what you will feel like during the recovery period and beyond.  It is extremely important that you not have any unfortunate preconceived notions that whatever operation it is that you are about to have will have some sort of miraculous benefit to your life when in fact it may only be a minor corrective.  Finally, you should also ask your physician or surgeon about some of the potential complications that may or may not occur during a procedure such as the one you are about to undergo.  During any surgery this is the risk that something may or may not go according to plan and it is very important that you are fully prepared should such a complication arise.