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Questions to Ask Your Surgeon

Bring this to your appointment with your surgeon. Review these questions beforehand and highlight the ones you want to ask your surgeon.


  1. What are all my surgical and non-surgical options?
  2. What are the benefits and risks of each option?
  3. Am I a candidate for minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery? How is it done?
  4. How many procedures like mine do you do each month? How many are minimally invasive surgery?
  5. How long do you expect my hospital stay and full recovery to be?
  6. What is the success rate and long-term outcomes?
  7. How much is this going to cost me? Will insurance cover it?
  8. Will I need to take time off from work or other activities?
  9. What type of incisions/scars should I expect?
  10. How do I prepare for surgery?
  11. Where can I get a second opinion?



  1. What are the series of events today?
  2. What are my anesthesia options?
  3. What should I expect immediately following surgery?
  4. How soon can I get my pathology report after surgery?



  1. What symptoms and feelings are considered normal after surgery?
  2. How soon can I go home and return to my normal activities (e.g. driving, exercising, working, yard work, picking up my kids)?
  3. What can I and can’t I do?
  4. What are my chances of recurrence?
  5. What are my next steps and follow up?


Procedure Specific Questions to Ask Your Surgeon


  1. What is the chance that I will need a permanent colostomy bag?
  2. What should my diet be after surgery?
  3. How will it feel to have a bowel movement for the first time after surgery?
  4. How often will I need a colonoscopy after surgery?
  5. (If applied) What should I do with my colostomy bag?



  1. How will the hernia be repaired?
  2. Will you be able to perform a primary repair (sewing the muscle tissue back together)?
  3. Could you avoid using tacks during the repair to reduce pain after the surgery?
  4. What is the chance of me having a hernia again?



  1. What will be removed (e.g. uterus, ovaries, tubes, cervix)?
  2. What is the chance of me experiencing hot flashes?
  3. Will I need to consider hormone therapy?
  4. What are the restrictions for sexual activity after surgery?



  1. How advanced is my prostate cancer?
  2. Is it likely that my cancer will spread?
  3. How soon will the catheter be removed after the surgery?
  4. How soon will my bladder control and sexual function return?



  1. What are the benefits and potential risks involved with total hip/partial knee replacement surgery?
  2. How long does it typically take to recover from surgery?
  3. Is osteoarthritis a factor in my hip/knee pain?
  4. Will reducing activity, taking pain or prescription medication, or adding physical therapy help ease my pain?
  5. Could a total hip/partial knee replacement help provide me with relief from my pain?
  6. Am I a candidate for Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery?