What to Ask Your Doctor About Minimally Invasive Surgeries
Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is an advanced surgical procedure that makes use of small incisions where miniscule cameras with microscopes and fiber optic flashlights are inserted.
This less invasive approach has become the treatment of choice for many patients the world over because it comes with many peerless benefits.
Some of the benefits include:
- Shorter recovery period
- Minimal scarring
- Lower infection risk
- Increased safety
- Reduced hospital stay
Understandably, since minimally invasive surgeries are considered “new” compared to conventional open surgery, not many are familiar with the procedure.
If you are a candidate for a minimally invasive surgery, it is imperative that you have all the important questions asked prior to getting the surgery done.
The following are some of the key questions you need to ask your surgeon:
What happens during a minimally invasive surgery?
If you are not familiar with even the basics, let alone the specifics, make sure you ask enlightenment from the surgeon.
Inquire as to where the ports or the incisions will be and how many will be needed. You can also ask how many hours the procedure will likely take.
What needs to be done prior to the surgery?
Ask the doctor about any preparations that need to be done a day or a few hours before the surgery. Ask also if there are eating restrictions you have to adhere to the night prior.
Bottom line, make sure you understand and know what you can or can’t do.
What happens if the need to switch to open surgery arises?
In some cases, a surgeon may need to convert a minimally invasive procedure into the conventional open surgery. Check with your surgeon if this is likely to happen in your case.
In addition, inquire about the possible side effects if it happens and the impact it might have on your recovery time.
What are the possible side effects of a minimally invasive surgery?
In most cases, patients will experience pain after surgery. But when it comes to minimally invasive procedures, it might not be where you expect it to be.
Keep in mind that ports in minimally invasive procedures may be far from the operation site. In line with this, ask your surgeon where you’ll likely to feel discomfort, how long it will likely last, and how severe it will be.
How long will the recovery take?
While some minimally invasive procedures can be carried out on an outpatient basis, others are not. To be sure, ask your surgeon about the expected recovery period so you will have realistic expectations as far as recuperation period goes.
Ask for specifics and check with your surgeon if physical therapy will be required after.
What medicines will be necessary?
Chances are painkillers will be prescribed after the surgery. Ask for any likely side effects. Inform your surgeon if you are taking any medications or supplements or if you have maintenance meds.
Get advice as to what you need to do if the pain medications won’t provide the pain relief you need.
What are the possible aftercare procedures that need to be done?
Ask for specific instructions as to how you can take care of the incisions at home so you can keep infections at bay. Make sure you understand and follow all the instructions. In addition, make sure you also ask for signs of complications and infections that you need to look out for.
What needs to be done after recovering?
Check with your surgeon if you need to make follow-up appointments and how often you need them. Also, ask your surgeon if you will need any additional surgery in the near future.