Surgery allows doctors to repair things inside your body. The idea of having surgery may sound alarming, but modern medicine has made surgery safe and comfortable for patients. Here are four things that patients should know about general surgical care:
1. Your doctor will refer you to a general surgeon.
Most people rely on their primary care physicians for the bulk of their medical care. Primary care physicians perform annual physicals and perform preliminary exams when patients complain of physical symptoms. If your doctor discovers a medical issue that requires surgical intervention, they will not perform the surgery themselves. Instead, your doctor will refer you to a general surgeon who can perform your surgery. You will be given a referral to a surgeon who is within your insurance network.
2. You may meet with your surgeon for a consultation.
It's likely that you will be scheduled to meet with your surgeon for a consultation. During the consultation, your surgeon will look through your medical records. They may perform an examination to confirm your primary care physician's findings. The purpose of surgical consultations is to determine whether you're a good candidate for surgery. Any surgical contraindications will be uncovered during this time. Surgical consultations are often scheduled shortly before the date of the actual surgical procedure.
3. Your surgeon will give you pre-operative instructions.
Many surgeries are performed using general anesthesia, which allows patients to remain unconscious and comfortable for the duration of the procedure. However, general anesthesia comes with certain risks. In order to minimize these risks, you will be given a list of pre-operative instructions that you must follow. Many surgeons recommend that patients eat nothing on the day of their surgeries. An empty stomach is safest; if you become nauseous while under general anesthesia, there will be nothing in your stomach to cause you to vomit. This is important since vomit can be aspirated into your lungs.
4. You may be required to stay at the surgical center for observation.
Following your surgical procedure, you may be required to stay at the surgical center for observation. The length of observation required will depend on the type of surgery you undergo. Minor procedures usually do not necessitate an overnight stay. In many cases, your surgeon will allow you to leave as soon as you perform certain bodily functions, such as eliminating waste on your own. In other cases, you may need to stay at the surgical center overnight for medical monitoring. Your surgeon will give you their recommendations before your surgery begins, so you will not be surprised.