Questions foryour surgeon

Before going ahead with carpal tunnel surgery, there are certain questions you should ask. If in doubt, consider getting a second opinion.

Make sure you fully understand the procedure; don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s important your surgeon explains the common risks and benefits, as well as those particular to your circumstances. Knowing all the relevant information is part of informed clinical consent.

Questions for your surgeon

Timing

  • Do I need the surgery now or can it wait?
  • What might happen if I delay it?

Surgery

  • Are there alternatives to surgery in my case?
  • What are the benefits of having it?
  • What type of surgery do you recommend and why?
  • What happens during and after?
  • What’s the success rate for this type of surgery?
  • What are the chances I’ll need surgery again in the future?
  • Is there anything I can do to improve the result?

Costs

  • What are your likely out-of-pocket medical expenses? (Your surgeon should be able to give you a breakdown of any out-of-pocket costs – this is known as ‘Informed Financial Consent’)

Other costs

  • Will there be fees for blood tests, X-rays, CT scans or MRIs?
  • Will there be fees for an assistant surgeon?
  • Will there be an extra fee for a physiotherapist?

Anaesthetist

  • Will I have a choice of anaesthetist?
  • Will I be able to meet with my anaesthetist before the day of surgery?
  • Will there be an additional fee for the anaesthetist? If so, what will it be?

Preparation

  • How should I prepare for surgery?

Surgeon’s skills

  • How many carpal tunnel surgeries do you perform each year?
  • What percentage of patients are satisfied with the results of the carpal tunnel surgeries you perform?
  • What’s your complication rate for this procedure?

Recovery

  • How long will I be in hospital?
  • How soon can I go back to work or travel?
  • Will I need to change any of my medications afterwards?
  • Follow-up appointments (Write down any questions or concerns you want to discuss with your surgeon).

Tell your surgeon if you have any skin lesions, sores, cuts, or a raised temperature, as they’ll need to be treated before your procedure.

You can take most medication as usual, but some may interfere with your procedure. Your surgeon will let you know which medication (if any) you should stop, and when to stop taking it.

Don’t forget to mention any complementary or herbal remedies you’re taking, as these can have interactions and side effects too.

Print out this page to take to your appointment with your surgeon.

Preparing for your surgery

Pre-operative tests and preparation

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.