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6 things your surgeon needs to know

You're going in for surgery. You have heard that communication is an important part of the process. What does your surgeon need to know before the procedure?

Every case is different, and it's important to work closely with your surgeon to make sure they have the information that will help them guide you toward a successful procedure and recovery. That said, here are six things you can start with that your medical team does need to know:

  1. If you are taking any supplements or herbs.
  2. If you are taking any medications, even basic ones like aspirin, and how much you take.
  3. If you have any known allergies, even if you think they may not impact the procedure at all. They especially need to know about allergies to medications and other treatment options.
  4. If you have had any previous operations.
  5. If you have tried other things to help with your condition, such as treatments and medications, beyond simply having surgery.
  6. If any other surgeries and operations have led to complications. For instance, perhaps you always feel nauseated after surgery. It does not have to be a major complication. You want to disclose everything.

Communication is really one of the main keys to a successful surgery, and research has found that miscommunication leads to a lot of avoidable errors.

That said, simply providing your surgical team with this information does not guarantee that they will not make a mistake that causes you serious harm. If this happens, you need to know what legal steps to take, especially after serious errors like a wrong-site surgery.

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