You place a great deal of trust in your medical team when you go in for a surgical procedure. In most cases, surgery goes well, with few complications during or after the procedure. However, even the most skilled doctors and nurses make mistakes, and hospital errors are not uncommon in New York and elsewhere. You may reduce the chances of developing a serious complication when you are informed and prepared before and after your surgery.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, secondary infections and other complications often occur after surgery. The following tips can help prepare you, reduce your risks and give you peace of mind about your recovery:
- Consult with your surgeon before the procedure and bring a list of questions and concerns you may have.
- Research your condition, the surgical procedure and other possible treatments with reputable sources so you are educated about what is coming up.
- Check out the medical facility’s track record for surgical mistakes, professionalism and cleanliness.
- Get clear instructions on your post-surgical care, medications and common complications during recovery.
- Ask a close family member or friend to be your health care advocate in the recovery room and bring him or her with you to your follow-up appointments.
- Understand and follow your post-surgical instructions, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need clarification.
Nothing can guarantee a problem-free surgery or recovery period, but the time you invest in educating yourself and taking care of yourself after your procedure can make a difference. This also goes for listening to your intuition if you feel your medical team has made a mistake or you are not recovering as you should.