Things to do if You're Considering Surgery
If you’re considering surgery, it’s likely because you’ve been experiencing near-constant symptoms and have exhausted all other options available to you. Even so, there are still some things that you should take into account before considering surgery. It’s important that you remain as informed as possible to remain an equal participant in your treatment plan. Fully understanding any risks of the procedure you may undertake will help you manage your expectations better, heal faster, and recover more fully.
Seek a second opinion. Your surgeon will not be offended and will likely encourage you to seek the guidance of outside medical opinions. Sometimes, all it takes to find a different option to surgery is a fresh set of eyes on your medical history. And if the surgeon you see for a second opinion comes to the same conclusion as the first, you can be confident that surgery is your best option.
How much will the surgery be, and is it covered by insurance? You will likely have to call your insurance company and speak to the front office staff at your surgeon’s office. Ask about things like physician’s fees, hospital services, physical therapy (if applicable) and prescriptions needed to prepare for your procedure and help you recover afterwards. This will also help you better understand the risks of your procedure, and how much the surgery will impact your life afterwards.
What will happen if you don’t get surgery? Is the surgery something that needs to happen immediately? How will your symptoms or condition change if you wait a month, six months, or even a year to have your procedure?
What alternatives have not been exhausted? You can bring this up in your “second opinion” appointment as well. There are a massive amount of non-surgical treatments out there; what you are actually offered by a surgeon depends upon the surgeon’s training, education and beliefs.
Most surgeons trained in allopathic (MD) medical schools are trained not to believe in complementary or alternative medicine. At Warner Orthopedics and Wellness we do believe in CAM and often integrate it into our plans with or without surgical intervention.
What will recovery be like? This includes how long you will be expected to remain in the hospital (if at all), how your surgery will limit your range of movement or daily activities, etc. You will need to know all of your restrictions ahead of time. It would also be good to find out your surgeon’s beliefs about pain medications. The fewer the better and this is important; the CDC has released data proving that addiction can occur in as quickly as 6 days of opioid use.
Consider taking a multivitamin before surgery to optimize and shorten your recovery!
What are the benefits of the surgery, and how long will they last? Depending on your condition and the procedure itself, it is likely that while surgery may reduce your symptoms, it may not relieve them entirely. It’s important to make sure you have reasonable expectations. If the surgery doesn’t relieve your symptoms as much as you’d hoped, trying alternative procedures under the guidance of your physician may be equally as beneficial. Functional improvements are equally as important as pain relief; don’t forget to ask about how your function could improve.
How do I prepare for the surgery, both physically and mentally? If you and your physician have decided that surgery is your best option, you can still make preparations at home. Starting a multivitamin regimen with your physician’s approval, exercising and stretching to make post-surgery physical therapy a little easier, and addressing any anxiety you may be experiencing about the procedure itself are great ways to prepare.
(Often a pre-operative psychological evaluation to improve post-operative performance is helpful; remember, most professional athletes have sports psychologists on speed dial and there is no reason we should be different.) You should also take this time to ask close friends and family to help you with daily tasks after surgery, like cooking, cleaning, or taking you to follow-up doctor’s and physical therapy appointments.
Dr. Warner, orthopedic surgeon and founder of Well Theory, has always taken a patient-led approach in her clinical practice – exhausting all alternative treatments before recommending surgery. She decided to develop Well Theory to give you access to surgeon-approved advice and natural pain-fighting + inflammation-reducing products that you can incorporate into your daily wellness routine.
Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.
She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.
At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:
- Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
- Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
- Fill the gaps in our daily diets
- Manage pain associated with inflammation
Surgeon Formulated For Your Peace of Mind
Natural Ingredients + Cutting-Edge Medical Breakthroughs.