The Consultation with your Surgeon
So you've made your decision and have decided to go through with a surgical procedure. What comes next is usually a set of consultations and pre-operative tests to make sure you are fit and aware of all the risks and expectations. We have, therefore, put together a few things to ease your mind and make you aware of what you should know/do.
All doctors must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) and hold a license to practice in order to treat patients in the UK. While most clinics and hospitals make sure their surgeons are registered and certified, you can always ask for their GMC number to do your own checking. Doctors continue to develop professionally. They undergo annual appraisals and are re-validated with the GMC every 5 years.
You can learn about the standards the GMC expects all doctors to follow here.
What happens during your consultation with the Surgeon?
The consultation is designed with your surgeon in such a way that you have all the time you need to discuss all aspects of the treatment you are considering. Below are a list of things you can expect:
Discuss all aspects of your medical and family history in detail and request pre-operative tests.
Give you a thorough physical examination
try to ascertain your expectations and then discuss realistically what they believe can be achieved.
Photograph the area to be operated on.
Explain the potential dangers of any form of surgery and anaesthesia.
Explain the procedure/s in detail to you, including specific risks and complications.
Advise you on all aspects of pre and post operative care.
Following the discussion and examination, the surgeon may decide it's not in your best medical interests to proceed with the surgery.
What Questions Should I Ask?
It is important to make sure you have all the answers to your questions. Here are some questions we urge you to ask your surgeon.
What does the procedure entail?
Will there be any scarring and where will it be?
Will there be any pain or discomfort during or after the operation?
What will be the recovery time?
What must I do/not do to ensure a good recovery?
Is there a follow up programme for me after the surgery?
Should i inform my GP?
What are the possible risks and conditions associated with the type of surgery you are choosing to have?
This list is no exhaustive, however, it is a starting point and it is important you have these answers before proceeding with any surgery.