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.

Before Surgery

  1. 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.
  2. Discuss your treatment options
    There may be other alternatives to having surgery, so make sure you have explored all your options.
  3. Verify your medical services are appropriate and necessary
  4. Always get a second opinion to verify that you have the correct diagnosis
  5. Contact your insurance company to check if you need prior authorization for your procedure
  6. Verify your doctors are in your network
  7. 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.
  8. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Before leaving the hospital
    • Request a copy of your medical records
    • Request a surgical transcript
    • Request a hospital release plan