Arthritis And Surgery: What You Should Know Before Going Into The Operating Room



Arthritis is a condition that largely affects the joints of your body. There are many different types of arthritis and a number of diseases, such as lupus, can cause arthritic reactions. Some of the different kinds of arthritis can affect your life so drastically that you and your doctor feel the need for surgery. Surgery can be very helpful in reliving pain and stress on your joints, but there are a number of risks as well. To reduce the risk and have a better peace of mind when going into surgery, ask your doctor and surgeon a number of questions. You can have a much better chance of successful recovery from surgery if you are calm going into the procedure.

First, learn all you can about the surgeon that will be operating on you. What are his credentials? How many times has he successfully preformed this operation in the past? Who will be on his team in the operating room? If possible, meet with your surgeon before hand. Remember, the things that happen to your body are your choices, so if you feel uncomfortable with a surgeon, you do not have to go through with the procedure or you can request a different doctor.

When you meet with your surgeon, have him walk you through the procedure exactly as it will be done in the operating room. Although you probably will not be awake for the surgery, it is helpful to understand exactly what will happen in every step of the operation. If there are things you don't understand, your doctor should be willing to re-explain the procedure. Again, it is your body, so you have the right to understand what the doctors will be doing and why.

Also ask about alternative options. What will happen if you decide not to go through with the operation? Are there other treatment options? Understand every choice so that you can be sure that surgery is the right decision for you. You probably also want to know about the anticipated outcome of the procedure. For example, it is helpful to learn how your body will feel immediately after surgery. What is the recovery time for most patients? How will you continue to treat the arthritis after surgery? Will you need surgery again at a later time?

Lastly, take care of your finances. Insurance covers most kinds of arthritic surgery for most people, but be sure to read the fine print of your health insurance agreement-operations are expensive and it is difficult to cope with large medical bills as you are recovering. Also ask your doctor if all parts of your treatment are covered by insurance. Sometimes certain things, like anesthesiology (which can be extremely expensive), are not covered and a large bill surprises you.

Overall, it is simply important to be comfortable before you enter the operating room. By having a calm and positive outlook, you have a better chance of surviving surgery as well as more quickly recovering afterwards. Surgery is a good choice for some types of arthritis, so ask many questions to see if it is right for you.


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