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What to look for in a Medical Consent

I do a lot of surgeries and I have a specific consent for each surgery with a lot of different details. I thought it might be helpful for you to look at some of those details and the kinds of things you can expect in a medical consent.

1) Where are you having the surgery?
You may be having the surgery in their office, the hospital, or a surgery center.

2) Why are you having the surgery?
The reasons should be clearly listed. For example, if you are having a hysterectomy, reasons for that procedure may be due to bleeding, pain, or fibroids.

3)What are the benefits of the surgery?
For example, the benefits of a hysterectomy are no bleeding, cramping, no periods, etc.

4) What are the risks associated with the surgery?
What complications may occur from this surgery? For example, the risk of infection with a hysterectomy is less than 1%.

5) What are your alternatives to surgery?
This is really important! For example, instead of a hysterectomy you could try ablation or the insertion of a Mirena IUD (depending on the reason for your hysterectomy).

6) Anesthesia
This is really crucial. Today, the standard of care for anesthesia is make sure that when you wake up in the recovery room you have ZERO pain. Almost every one of my laparoscopic surgeries include regular anesthesia which puts you to sleep as well as a spinal medication that takes away pain from the waist down during surgery. When you wake up in the recovery room with no pain, your recovery time is cut in half.

7) Cost
In this day and age it is not unreasonable for you to ask how much your expected costs will be for the surgeon, the facility, etc. Our office provides this information regularly to our patients. Just remember, it is cheaper to do your surgery in a surgery center than in a hospital.

8) Guarantees
For example, with a hysterectomy the only things you can really guarantee is that the patient will not have periods, get pregnant, no cramping, etc. For each surgery it is a little bit different. Your doctor should be willing to talk to you and explain their expectations for your surgery.

9) Questions
Any and all questions that you have are valid. Don’t hesitate to ask ANY question. It is your surgery and you have the right to know. If your surgeon gets defensive or becomes uncomfortable when your questions, it may not be the appropriate person to perform the surgery for you.


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