√ 1. What is the operation being recommended? Is it necessary?
√ 2. Why is the operation necessary?
√ 3. What are my alternatives to this procedure?
√ 4. What are the benefits of the surgery and how long will the benefits last?
√ 5. What are the risks and possible complications of having the operation?
√ 6. What are my possibilities if I choose not to have the surgery?
√ 7. How many of these surgeries have you performed?
√ 8. For which specialty do you have a board certification? √ Urology √ Urogynecology √ Gynecology √ General Surgery √ Colorectal Surgery? √ None √ Other
√ 9. Where will surgery be performed?
√ 10. How long will my operation take?
√ 11. Why type of anesthesia will be administered? If it is not a hospital, is there emergency equipment if I should have trouble with anesthesia? What is the plan for emergencies?
√ 12. What type of incision will be used? Will it be an open procedure, minimally invasive or laparoscopic?
√ 13. If mesh is embedded in my bladder or urethra, do you have the skills to take it out?
√ 14. If mesh is embedded into my obturator spaces, do you have the skills to take it out?
√ 15. If mesh has eroded into my colon or rectum, do you have the skills to take it out?
√ 16. If I have more than one mesh, do you have the skills to find it and take it out?
√ 17. If mesh is close to a blood vessel, do you have the skills to remove it?
√ 18. If mesh is close to a large nerve, do you have the skills to remove it with the least amount of damage?
√ 19. What are my chances for getting new nerve damage?
√ 20. What are my chances for getting a wound infection? What is the hospital’s nosocomial infection rate? Do you provide prophylaxis to address biofilm-related infections?
√ 21. What are the specific risks of this procedure?
√ 22. What will my operation cost? What else will I be charged for?
√ 23. What can I expect during recovery?
√ 24. What are the ways will my life be different after this surgical procedure?
√ 25. How many future surgeries should I expect?
Places to check-up on your surgeon
It is important to have confidence in the doctor who will be doing your surgery and you can make sure that he or she is qualified. Each state licenses its physicians. Take the time to search for:
“[Name of State] physician license verification” for your own surgeon. Example here.
Make sure to check for disciplinary actions taken or whether the license is current.
- Ask your primary doctor, your local medical society, or health insurance company for information about the doctor or surgeon’s experience with the procedure.
- Make certain the doctor or surgeon is affiliated with an accredited health care facility. When considering surgery, where it is done is often as important as who is doing the procedure.
Peggy Day is working on a book to combine all these stories. This is an excerpt from Pelvis in Flames: Your Pelvic Mesh Owner’s Guide. Your input is welcome to help make Pelvis in Flames the book you need to read.
If you’d like to join an online support group and learn about erosion, partial removals, surgeons, or just find out that you are not alone, join my group, Surgical Mesh or check the list of support groups here.
Subscribe to PelvicMeshOwnersGuide.com to learn more about pelvic mesh. I’d like to hear from you if you are helped by what you read here or if you need to know more about any particular topic. Comment below or email me privately at email@example.com..