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Questions to ask before having surgery

You're having surgery, and you undoubtedly have lots of questions for your Kentucky medical team.

How long until I can return to work?

When can I play tennis?

How long is the recuperation time?

Those are all important things for you to know. However, there are three legal questions any patient should ask before going under the knife.

What is the exact surgical procedure?

You should clearly understand what your procedure entails. Bring a notepad to jot down the details or ask the doctor if you can record your consultation. Ask a friend to join you, and request handouts from the doctor describing your procedure in detail.

Remember that you are giving permission for one specific procedure. If the doctor performs a different procedure, you could have grounds to sue for malpractice.

What are the risks, and what complications could occur?

You need to know just what to expect when you wake up from surgery. That information will help you during your recuperation period. You might need a home-health worker and/or nurse to visit regularly to check on your progress.

If you think something has gone wrong, you'll want to contact your doctor at once. You also might want to share your concerns with a lawyer, as the sooner any evidence is collected, the better. By being proactive, you may find that your doctor or hospital will be more likely to pay for costs to repair any mistakes.

How much will my procedure cost?

You don't want to be in shock when you receive your bill for services. The staff at the hospital or doctor's office should be able to offer pre-treatment estimates and work with your insurance company. You won't be given an exact cost, but it should be in the ballpark. If, when you total all your bills, the amount billed isn't in the same range as the estimate, you will have the notes and pre-authorizations to dispute the bill with your surgeon and insurer.

You deserve the best medical care possible. If you have anything less than a positive outcome, you can contact a local attorney who works with malpractice cases for advice.

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U.S.COURT OF APPEALS Fayette Country Bar Association KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION | 1871 KENTUCKY JUSTICE ASSOCIATION UNITED STATES DISTRICK COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE | United States Of America

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