You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression, “there is no such thing as a stupid question.” This is especially true when it comes to preparing yourself to undergo a surgical procedure of any kind. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask your shoulder surgeon as many questions as you can think of. You want to be as informed and comfortable as possible heading into your procedure.
Things You Need to Know Before the Procedure
You want to get as much detailed information from your shoulder surgeon before having a procedure performed. It is important that people explore all possible options before having surgery, so make sure that you and your doctor have talked about all your alternatives. If you both agree that a procedure is the best course of action, you’ll want to know all you can about the kind of procedure that you need.
Get the details. Find out how long the procedure will take and how long you’ll need to remain in the hospital. Ask about what kinds of restrictions you may have to deal with once the surgery takes place, and how long it will take before you can return to work and your normal activities. Know beforehand what type of help you may need once you get back home so you can make any necessary arrangements.
Ask about the kinds of rehabilitation or physical therapy you may need, and whether you can take care of that at home or you’ll need to be in a rehab facility once you get out of the hospital. Get information about the type of medications you will need before and after the procedure to manage your pain.
Things You Need to Know After the Procedure
You’ll want to know what to look out for afterward so you can decide when you’ll need to call your doctor. If you are following your pain management plan, for example, but your pain worsens or changes, call your doctor as soon as possible. You’ll also want to call him or her if you experience bleeding, you have dizziness, unresponsiveness, or confusion. If you have any feel any sort of tightness or pressure in your chest, or you experience any pain, then you’ll need to call your doctor immediately. You may also need to call 911.
More than likely, you’ll be quite limited for a while once you are back home recovering from your procedure. Your shoulder surgeon, of course, will be able to provide information specific to your situation, but you’ll probably receive advice on how to avoid further problems. For example, your doctor will probably tell you to practice good posture, strengthen your muscles with recommended exercises, and use proper mechanics when lifting heavy objects once you’ve completely recovered.
Again, the importance of asking your shoulder surgeon as many questions as possible, and getting as much information as possible, cannot be overstated.