Having surgery is a big deal. Taking a few smart steps before and after surgery can help you avoid complications and ensure the best possible outcome.
- Choose a healthcare advocate
A healthcare advocate is usually a family member or friend that you trust to help you make decisions and manage your healthcare.
- Discuss your treatment options
There may be other alternatives to having surgery, so make sure you have explored all your options.
- Verify your medical services are appropriate and necessary
- Always get a second opinion to verify that you have the correct diagnosis
- Contact your insurance company to check if you need prior authorization for your procedure
- Verify your doctors are in your network
- Get a cost estimate
Procedures can vary greatly from one hospital to the next. For example, a knee replacement could cost between $16,772 and $61,585.
- Make sure you received and follow your pre-surgery prep instructions
These instructions are designed to improve the outcome of your surgery and to minimize the risk of post-surgical complications.
During your Hospital Stay
- If you are unsatisfied with the level of service or have additional questions, ask to speak to a hospitalist
A hospitalist is a physician who oversees patient care while you are in the hospital.
- Verify that you are receiving the correct medication during your hospital stay
Check that it is the right dosage and that it is being dispensed at the right time.
- Ask your doctor about common complications
Discuss how to recognize them, what to do about them and when to call or return to the hospital if necessary.
- Before leaving the hospital
- Request a copy of your medical records
- Request a surgical transcript
- Request a hospital release plan