What to ask your doctor
Be the hero in your life and do not be afraid of taking an active role when talking with your medical practitioner to ensure that you and the doc understand each other in terms of diagnosis and the medical treatment or procedure.
Questions you should ask your doctor:
- What is my diagnosis?
Do not be afraid to ask until you understand your diagnosis. Sometimes the shock and fear are overwhelming and it takes time for the information to settle.
Besides the doctor explaining and guiding you, we have an in-house psychologist who is dedicated to help and comfort you and repeat the procedural or treatment information if need be.
- Are there different treatments options and alternatives?
It is always a good idea to explore your options and feel comfortable that you have received all information, options, alternative advise and understand the benefits and consequences of any treatment and/or procedure.
We are proud to share our self-compiled free downloadable procedure sheets which contain operational info and recovery info: https://generalsurgery.co.za/procedures/
- What is the consequence of not choosing a treatment option?
The doctor will guide you, but it is good to ask this question so that you can make a concise and informed decision.
- What are the necessary tests or therapies?
The doctor will usually discuss this with you but feel free to ask any questions you might have about the necessary tests for diagnosis and exclusion of illness.
- How will I hear about my test results?
Do not be shy to ask how to obtain your test results for e.g. when you undergo scans or blood tests. The sister/practice manager will be able to give an approximate timeline for the test results.
- What outcome should I expect in terms of improvement of symptoms?
Ask what type of medical and symptomatic outcomes you can expect. Often surgical procedures will cure your symptoms immediately and your life can return to normal. Sometimes improvements and healing take time and in some cases the outcome is lifesaving and some symptoms may remain.
- What complications may arise during the treatment or surgery?
It is important to be informed of complications that might occur during surgery.
- What are the statistics for the surgery?
Often your surgeon will be able to give you an indication of statistics of complications and recovery rates of the specific surgical procedure.
- Is there anything I can do to improve my condition?
Lifestyle choices like stress levels, what you eat, how much you move or sleep and whether you smoke, account for 70% of your risk for developing certain illnesses or diseases. Theses aspects are a big factor in preventing and helping you recover from an existing condition.
- What will the expense be?
Usually the practice will give you a quote on the procedure and doctor’s costs. The hospital quotes for the stay and theatre time as well as the anaesthetists, provide their own quotations and invoices. The medication cost can be provided by the pharmacy. For our payment info, please free to ask or follow this link:
- Should I get a second opinion?
If you feel uncomfortable and you feel the need to ask for a second opinion, it is a good idea to be up front and discuss this with your doctor. You always have a choice and the doctor knows best who the most reputable specialists in a similar field are in your area. You should be aware though that if it is an emergency you may lose vital time consulting another specialist and there will be additional consultation costs to you or your medical aid.
- What can I do to improve my healing post treatment?
Be aware of the limitations you have post operatively and stick to the time you need to heal. Eat as healthy as possible and avoid smoking. Inform and rely on your support group to also assist you and help you recover.
- What emotional aspects need addressing before a procedure?
The doctor will cover the technical aspects of the upcoming treatment and procedure. The emotional impact the treatment might have is a valid and important question.
I am glad to say that we have an in-house psychologist who can also explain and assist you through the process psychologically and emotionally.
Please read my article on how to prepare the body ad mind for an operation: https://generalsurgery.co.za/how-do-i-prepare-my-body-and-mind-for-an-operation/
Often a doctor’s visit is an uncomfortable experience as it deals with question about our health. Undergoing surgery is an unfamiliar experience for most of us. We sincerely hope that the information provided will help you feel more comfortable to ask the questions that will assist you in making the right decision with your medical practitioner and aid you in attaining an expedient, uncomplicated and blessed recovery.
We are dedicated to helping you. Please note that this information is not exclusive and other exercises, advice and techniques can also help. For any questions please send us a mail, call us and see below information that can also assist you in your road to a healthy bowel movement and lifestyle.