For many, surgery is a scary word. When people think of surgery, they may envision long recoveries and a painful healing process. However, surgery is sometimes necessary. After a trauma, surgery can stop blood loss and repair internal structures. Surgery can also be used to repair or remove organs that have become damaged due to an illness or accident. When you need surgery, you must turn to the care of a general surgeon. Here are three things you should know about general surgical care.
1. You may be referred to a surgeon by your doctor
Most people don't see surgeons directly. When you experience an illness or injury, your first stop may be your general care practitioner's office or the emergency room. From there, your doctor may diagnose a condition that requires surgery. In this case, they may refer you to a specialist in the correct field. Some doctors have working relationships with specific general surgical care teams. It's a good idea to heed your doctor's recommendations since they can steer you toward surgeons they know and trust.
2. Your general surgical care team will give you pre-operative instructions
After you schedule your surgery, there is still more preparation to be done. You will be given pre-operative instructions before the day of your procedure. You may need to stop or start taking certain medications. If you will be undergoing general anesthesia, you will probably be told to fast for up to 12 hours before your operation. Fasting reduces your risk of aspirating vomit while you're under the effects of anesthesia. Following all of your surgeon's instructions can help you ensure that you have a safe and effective surgical procedure.
3. Your surgeon will continue to meet with you after your operation
Your surgeon's primary job is to perform surgeries. However, their work doesn't stop at the door of the operating room. You will still be under your surgeon's care following your procedure. Many surgeons ask patients to return for one or more follow-up visits. During these visits, your surgeon will ask you general questions about your health. They will also examine the surgical site and perform additional tests to make sure you're healing properly. This ongoing care can prevent complications, such as infections.
Surgery is a medical technique that can be used to repair internal damage. Undergoing surgery doesn't need to be frightening. When you know what to expect from a general surgical care team, you'll be ready to face any surgical procedure with good cheer.
For more information on general surgical care, contact your doctor or a local surgical care facility.