Before going ahead with prostate surgery, there are certain questions you need to ask. If in doubt, consider getting a second opinion.
Make sure you fully understand the surgery; don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s important your doctor 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 doctor
- Are there alternatives to this surgery?
- What type of prostate surgery do you recommend and why?
- What surgical technique do you intend to use?
- What are the risks and side effects associated with this surgery?
- Could the surgery affect my fertility?
- Is this surgery really needed at this time or can it wait?
- What are the likely consequences if I delay it?
- What are the likely out-of-pocket medical expenses? (Your doctor should be able to give you a breakdown of any costs you’ll incur – this is known as ‘Informed Financial Consent’)
- Will there be an additional fee for an assistant surgeon? If so, what will it be?
- How should I prepare for my surgery?
- Will there be an additional fee for the anaesthetist? If so, what will it be?
- Can I meet with my anaesthetist before surgery?
- What happens during and after the surgery?
- How long is my hospital stay likely to be?
Your urologist’s skills
- How many surgeries of this type do you perform each year?
- What percentage of your patients are satisfied with the surgeries for enlarged prostate that you perform?
- What’s your complication rate for this surgery?
- What percentage of your patients have incontinence or impotence after this surgery?
- How soon can I drive, go back to work or travel?
- Are there restrictions on what activities I can do, such as showering, swimming, lifting or having sex?
- Follow-up appointments (write down any questions or concerns you want to discuss with your urologist).
Tell your doctor if you have any skin lesions, sores, cuts, or a raised temperature, as they’ll need to be treated before your surgery.
Most medication should be taken as usual, but some may interfere with your surgery. You must tell your doctor about any anticoagulant (blood thinner) medications you’re taking. Your doctor 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 urologist