Before going ahead with hernia repair surgery, there are certain questions you should 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 surgical technique do you recommend, open or keyhole?
- 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’) Learn about the costs
- Will there be an additional fee for an assistant surgeon?
- 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 your surgery?
Your surgeon’s skills
- How many surgeries of this type do you perform each year?
- What percentage of your patients are satisfied with the results of the hernia surgeries you perform?
- What’s your complication rate for 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 surgeon).
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. 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.
Learn more about choosing a specialist
Tip: print out this page to take to your appointment with your surgeon