By Dr Amitoj Singh
Be it urgent, scheduled, or an elective, if you’re planning to have surgery, you’ll want to spend some time preparing. That means taking care of your health, learning the procedure, and understanding various means and protocols that can help you in making your entire surgical care journey smooth with faster recovery. It is also crucial to know more about the illness and treatment methods. Doctors are also required to give out complete and accurate information about a patient’s condition, the medication, the causes of the illness as well as the reason for prescribing the surgery. A patient-doctor interaction and transparent communication are the key to ensuring a successful surgery. Along with this one can follow these simple pre-surgery tips for a successful procedure and to heal faster.
- Inform the doctor about your medical history in detail: Do let your doctors know about your own medical history, family history, any potential allergies, or any drugs that you may be consuming. You can also ask the doctor about any concerns you may have about any likely drug interactions.
- Learn about the hospital and the facilities available: Patients should see if the surgery facility is right, well-equipped and have a support system to handle any kind of complications arises during the surgery.
- Check the credentials of those offering treatment: Those performing the surgery as well as the facility where it will be conducted must be a legitimate and licensed entity. This is a particularly serious problem in rural and remote areas where quacks are thriving, and patients get entangled in the web of unqualified and non-licensed individuals masquerading as medical professionals.
- Ask about the anaesthetic procedure: Certain surgeries are conducted under the influence of local anaesthesia while some may be under the influence of general anaesthesia. As a patient, you are well within your rights to ask your surgeon about what kind of anaesthesia you would be administered and how long would the procedure last.
- Ask for a transparent financial cost and surgery estimate: While some procedures may require long-term admission for post-surgery care, others may only require overnight hospitalisation. All of these factors ranging from the duration of hospital stay to the nature and amount of nursing services will impact the cost of the surgery. In certain instances, it may be possible that a surgical procedure may be more expensive in a super-specialty facility due to the cost of their expensive infrastructure and a similar surgery might be less expensive in a nursing home. Identify the available infrastructure in a facility and how that influences the costing to take a financially viable decision.
- Discuss the post-recovery plan in detail: You may be required to stay off certain food items, exercise specific precautions or do some exercises to enable fast recovery. Ask your doctor for a day-wise and a week-wise list of do’s and don’t’s so that no mishap occurs.
- Avoid alcohol intake and smoking in the weeks leading to your surgery: Do inform your surgeon if you consume any intoxicants and discuss a stable plan in detail to avoid any instant withdrawal or repercussions.
- Take adequate rest to prepare your body for surgery: Different procedures may have different pre-requisites depending on which body part is affected. But the common rule applicable to the preparation for all surgeries is to avoid any strenuous activity, take rest, hydrate sufficiently and abide by whatever rules that your doctor suggests. You may be required to follow a specific diet in the run-up to the day of the surgery.
- Do not hesitate from investing in post-recovery resources: Certain surgical procedures require follow-ups either in the form of medical supervision or paramedical care such as physiotherapy. Once patients have incurred a significant expense on a surgery, they often falter in investing in post-recovery services. The assumption is that a surgery alone will take care of their problems. However, in many instances, while the surgical procedure does the bulwark of recovery or management, for it to be a success in its entirety, it is pertinent to provide the right post-operative care. To be careless in focusing on post-surgery resources for whatever reason can prove costly in the long run.
The writer is CEO of TaCa Healthcare, a health-tech start-up working to make short stay surgeries safe and cost-effective.