6 Questions to Ask Before You Schedule Surgery

By: Porter Regional Hospital Last Updated: May 15, 2012

6-Questions-Before-Surgery-1From the Spring 2012 Healthy Woman publication

So you're contemplating surgery and your mind is racing. Whether it's your first surgery or one of many, it's natural to have questions and a few butterflies. While you probably have a primary physician you've known for some time, how do you go about finding a surgeon you trust? To get you started, Associates in Surgery shares some key questions you'll want to ask.

1. Are you comfortable with the surgeon?

It's important that you feel comfortable with the surgeon's level of expertise as well as his or her ability to answer your questions. Be sure your surgeon is board certified and that he or she clearly explains the procedure. Experienced surgeons welcome you to ask questions and share any anxiety you may have. If you're not comfortable, get another opinion.

2. Is the surgeon experienced with this surgery?

You should look for a practice experienced in performing your procedure. Associates in Surgery includes five highly skilled and board certified general surgeons, experienced in surgery of the breast, head and neck, abdomen, adrenal gland removal, and skin surgery as well as laparoscopic and minimally invasive procedures. You may be surprised to learn that your surgery can be done more comfortably than ever using some of these advanced techniques. Many procedures that once required days in the hospital and extended recovery times are now outpatient, enabling patients to resume their quality of life more quickly.

6-Questions-Before-Surgery-23. Will the surgery be performed close to home?

Your recovery may benefit from having your surgeon nearby. Not only is it more convenient to travel less, but it's also helpful to have your surgeon nearby to guide your recovery. Additionally you'll have more time and easier access both before and after surgery to ask questions.

4. What is the anticipated outcome of the surgery?

Just as each patient and each surgery is unique, your outcome will depend on your own overall health and condition. At an initial consultation, your surgeon will help you learn your individual treatment plan and what to expect after the surgery- both immediately and long term. Your surgeon may also give you information about how you can act now to prepare your body for the best outcome.

5. What are the risks?

All procedures carry risk- even minimal ones. Your surgeon will explain all risks and help you understand more about any adverse effects that are possible and what can be done to respond to potential problems. Find out how common problems arise and if you can do anything to reduce your risk.

6. What can I expect for my recovery?

You'll want to know how long you'll be restricted from driving, lifting, exercising, working and anything else you do regularly. If hospitalization is required, you'll also want to ask about the typical length of stay. Experienced surgeons are able to anticipate your recovery time and answer all of your questions through the process.


Visit the Porter Health System website
Valparaiso Campus
814 LaPorte Avenue
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Phone: 219-263-4600

The team at Associates in Surgery offers its guidance in helping you choose a surgeon and options for your care. Board certified surgeons include:

  • Jac Cooper, MD
  • Adam Conn, MD
  • Nancy Han, MD, FACS
  • Michael Nemeth, MD, FACS
  • Roland Thomas, MD, FACS

For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of the surgeons at Associates in Surgery, contact the Portage Office at 219.759.4577 or the Valparaiso Office at 219.464.9596.

The physicians listed above are all members of the medical staff at Porter.