Having Surgery? Lower Your Risks of Complications
Surgery always poses a risk of complications, and for some, these complications can be life-altering. Even the world’s wealthiest individuals and sports stars have had their lives forever changed after a surgery. Minnesota Viking’s Sharrif Floyd filed a $180 million lawsuit after undergoing what was meant to be a routine arthroscopic surgery.
The surgery led to his career coming to a halt after a pain blocker was administered and led to nerve tissue and muscle damage that rendered Floyd unable to play again.
If you want to lower your risks of complications during surgery, there are a few things that you can do, albeit errors and complications can always happen.
Be 100% Truthful About Your Health History
Your medical and health history is of the utmost importance. If your doctor asks you about your medical history, you need to be 100% truthful. Holding back on the details of your health will only be doing you more harm than good.
Make sure to leave no detail unmentioned, including:
Allergies that you may have
Details about your lifestyle
Medications that you may be taking
Supplements that you may be on
The level of care that you receive will be much higher when you’re 100% truthful about your health history. Hiding any of these facts from your doctor or surgeon is only going to increase your risk of complications.
Even if you take illegal substances, it’s better to alert your doctor of your habits than to pose the risk of the substance causing future problems during surgery.
Always Get a Second Opinion
You should be asking as many questions as possible to your doctor. It's your doctor that will be performing your surgery, and it’s important for you to understand why the doctor believes the surgery is a necessity.
You also have the right to ask the surgeon how many times he or she has performed the procedure.
It’s always better to know how skilled your surgeon may be.
But you also want to get a second opinion for any major surgery. Medicare recommends that if the procedure is not an emergency, you should get a second opinion. It's always better to know if the surgery is a medical necessity or not.
All doctors are human, and there is always a risk that the surgery may not be needed. Your initial doctor may have made a mistake in his or her diagnosis, or the doctor may have less experience with your condition than another doctor may have.
Take Proper Care After Surgery
A surgery may go as planned, but then something happened: you didn’t take proper care after surgery. Complications that are a result of not listening to your doctor’s advice or failing to follow recommended care options are not the fault of the surgeon.
You'll want to ask your doctor for information on:
Proper care techniques after surgery
When follow-up visits are needed
Signs of complications after surgery
Don't wait until you’re in the middle of being discharged to ask for instructions on your care. Instead, ask your doctor immediately of what care steps you should be following.
If you wait until being discharged, you may forget to ask, or you may be in a rush or not in the right mental state to fully understand the doctor’s recommendations.