A lot of people just accept what a surgeon says and either don’t bother to ask questions or feel too intimidated to seek clarification. But asking questions can make a significant difference in a patient’s expectations and understanding of potential pros and cons of surgery. Patients should take the following issues into consideration before going under the knife.
Many plastic surgery procedures – such as tummy tucks or breast augmentation – are elective. But many others are recommended by a medical specialist and deemed medically necessary. It’s imperative that the patient has a full understanding of the reason for the surgery. Is it expected to improve the patient’s condition or save the patient's life? Will it only bring temporary relief? Are there less invasive treatments that patients should try first?
Don’t automatically assume the procedure is absolutely necessary without consulting the surgeon. There may be other forms of treatment that bring relief like medication or physical therapy. And even if the surgery must be done, you should also know that there could be different ways of performing the operation, such as arthroscopically, which is less invasive than open surgery.
Ask the surgeon about the benefits of having the procedure done. This may include how long it will take before you feel the effects and if they will be long-lasting. At the same time, it’s important to understand that no procedure comes with guarantees. Things can go wrong, complications can ensue, and it may end up requiring a second or subsequent surgery.
The risks of surgery are often touted. Surgery in general has its potential complications, such as:
But certain procedures carry specific risks, which a surgeon should be ready to explain. It could also be that the patient’s health creates unique risks.
Patients should know ahead of time about the common side effects and when it would become necessary to seek immediate medical attention following the procedure. And just as important is knowing when the doctor will follow up with the patient to ensure healing and recovery is progressing as it should.
If at all possible, seek a second opinion before going under the knife for plastic surgery or other surgery (unless, of course, it's an emergency situation). By doing this, you can feel better about knowing if the procedure is in your best interest. You may have to check with your health insurance company to see if it will cover the second opinion.
Although some complications might be unavoidable and unrelated to medical negligence, there are times where negligence is to blame. It is critical to seek legal advice from an attorney who handles medical malpractice cases as soon as possible in these cases. An attorney can collect evidence and help you evaluate whether the complications were related to malpractice.
Get in touch with Ryan, LLP in Cleveland to set up a consultation with a lawyer. Call 877-864-9495 or contact us online.