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Pre-Operative Questions

Questions to ask your doctor before surgery


Updated June 23, 2013

The following list of questions, compiled and adapted from the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, offers some very good suggestions:
  • Do you have written materials or videos about this surgery that I can review?
  • How much improvement can I expect from this surgery?
  • What is your experience doing this type of surgery, and how many have you done?
  • Are you Board Certified?
  • Approximately how many of these surgeries are done each year at this hospital? Is there outcomes data available?
  • What are the risks involved? How likely are they?
  • What type of anesthesia will be used? What are the risks?
  • What type of implant will be used? What is the track record for this type of prosthesis?
  • Will I have to stop taking any of my medications before surgery?
  • What options are available to avoid a blood transfusion?
  • How long will I have to stay in the hospital?
  • How much pain is normal to expect and how long will it last? Will I receive medication for the pain?
  • When will I start physical therapy? Will I need home or outpatient therapy?
  • Will I need to arrange for some assistance at home? If so, for how long?
  • What limits will there be on activities - such as bathing, climbing stairs, eating, sex?
  • When can the incision get wet?
  • When can I drive after surgery?
  • How long will I need to be out of work?
  • How often will I need to return for follow-up visits?
  • What complications can arise after surgery? What are the signs of complications?
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