The decision to have surgery is a very important one. You will need to be fully informed and prepared for the surgery, as well as for any special needs that you may have following the surgery. Your preparation will affect the outcome and the results. The following is a checklist to assist you in your preparation for surgery:
Prior to surgery, you will receive a careful explanation of the procedure, its purpose, any risks, and the expected outcome. You may also be asked to sign an "informed consent" form, which states in detail that you understand everything involved with your surgery. You should read through the consent carefully before signing it. If you have any questions or need more information, ask your physician.
In certain surgeries, where significant risks are involved, hospital staff may encourage you to prepare "advance directives." Advance directives are legal documents that state a patient's preference in treatment and resuscitation--if the patient is unable to speak for himself or herself. There are two types of advance directives:
Parental consent is required for any diagnostic procedure or surgery on a preadolescent or minor child. However, "emancipated" or "mature" adolescents may consent to their own medical care. Laws may vary from state to state and it is important to know your own states law about emancipated and mature minors. Typically, an emancipated or mature minor is someone who meets any of the following criteria:
Sometimes an adult patient cannot make decisions (temporarily or permanently) about medical care, either because of accidental unconsciousness, confusion due to old age, or severe illness. In those instances, a family member will be asked to make any necessary medical decisions.
After a patient is diagnosed and surgery is recommended, most insurance companies require "precertification" from the physician's office before allowing a patient to undergo the procedure. Please check with your insurance carrier on the appropriate steps to take. Some insurance companies also require patients to pay a co-payment for the hospital stay.
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Online Resources of Surgical Care