Consultation & Informed Consent
Before treatment, you will meet with the surgeon or surgical team who will review your medical record, perform a physical examination, evaluate the need for surgery, and discuss the potential risks and benefits of the surgery, as well as possible alternatives to surgery. You will be asked to provide written permission for your doctor to perform surgery after you have been told about your treatment options. This process is called informed consent, and it gives you the opportunity to ask questions about the surgery. Your consent also means that you understand that there is no guarantee that the surgery will achieve the intended results.
Before surgery, you may need certain tests. For example, you may have a blood test to identify your blood type in case a blood transfusion is needed, assess your risk of bleeding or infection, and check liver and kidney function. In addition, you may be asked to give a urine sample or have an electrocardiogram (EKG) or imaging scans. Talk with your doctor to learn which tests you will need.
If you smoke, you are encouraged to quit smoking at least two weeks before surgery, which can help your body recover more quickly after surgery. In addition, talk with your doctor to learn what you should or should not eat or drink during the 24 hours before surgery. Also, mention any medications and dietary or herbal supplements you are taking, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs. Your doctor and anesthesiologist will tell you whether to continue taking those medications before surgery.
What to Wear & Bring
When you arrive at the hospital, you may need to change into a hospital gown or remove clothing or jewelry that could interfere with the surgery. Leave jewelry and other valuables at home or with a family member in the waiting area. In addition, wear your eyeglasses on the morning of your surgery, rather than contact lenses, because it is easier to remove your glasses before surgery. You may choose to bring your contact lenses, case, and solution to use once you are recovering from surgery. Usually, you will also be asked not to wear makeup on the day of the surgical procedure.
- Check with your insurance provider to learn whether you need to get preapproval of insurance coverage before the surgery.
- If there is a risk of blood loss during the operation and your procedure is more than four weeks away, you may want ask your surgical team if it would be helpful to have your blood drawn and stored in case it is needed during your operation.
- Consider bringing a family member or friend on the day of surgery. After the surgery, your doctor will provide him or her with an update about how it went.
- Arrange for care during your recovery phase, including transportation home from the hospital.
- If you have any questions, clarify instructions with the surgical care team.