Patient Safety

quality & patient safety

Surgery & Patient Safety

Are you facing surgery?  You are not alone.  Every year, more than 15 million Americans have surgery.

Most operations are not emergencies and are considered elective surgery.  This means that you have time to learn about your operation to be sure it is the best treatment for you.  You also have time to work with your surgeon to make the surgery as safe as possible.  Be active in your health care to have quality care.

Your doctor should welcome questions.  If you do not understand the answers, ask the doctor to explain them clearly.  Bring a friend or relative along to help you talk with the doctor.  Research shows that patients who are well informed about their treatment are more satisfied with their results.

Get the basic facts

  • Why do I need an operation?
  • What operation are you recommending?
  • Are there alternatives to surgery?
  • How much will the operation cost?

Learn about the benefits and risks

  • What are the benefits of having the operation?
  • What are the risks of having the operation?
  • What if I don't have this operation?

Learn how to get more information

  • Where can I get a second opinion?

Find out more about your operation

  • What kind of anesthesia will I need?
  • How long will it take me to recover?

For more information, read Having Surgery? What You Need to Know, published by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)


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