Pre-Operative Questions

Questions to ask your doctor before surgery

Some questions you may want to ask your surgeon. John Fedele / Getty Images

The following list of questions, compiled and adapted from the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, offers some very good suggestions:

  • Do you have written materials or videos about this surgery that I can review?
  • How much improvement can I expect from this surgery?
  • What is your experience doing this type of surgery, and how many have you done?
  • Are you Board Certified?
  • Approximately how many of these surgeries are done each year at this hospital? Is there outcomes data available?
  • What are the risks involved? How likely are they?
  • What type of anesthesia will be used? What are the risks?
  • What type of implant will be used? What is the track record for this type of prosthesis?
  • Will I have to stop taking any of my medications before surgery?
  • What options are available to avoid a blood transfusion?
  • How long will I have to stay in the hospital?
  • How much pain is normal to expect and how long will it last? Will I receive medication for the pain?
  • When will I start physical therapy? Will I need home or outpatient therapy?
  • Will I need to arrange for some assistance at home? If so, for how long?
  • What limits will there be on activities - such as bathing, climbing stairs, eating, sex?
  • When can the incision get wet?
  • When can I drive after surgery?
  • How long will I need to be out of work?
  • How often will I need to return for follow-up visits?
  • What complications can arise after surgery? What are the signs of complications?

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