You are in front of an endometriosis surgery. For those patients who (still) don’t know, endometriosis has 4 stages, and stage 3 and 4 often imply a more complex surgery, with shaving or a bowel/bladder resection.
Here is a list of questions to ask your anesthesiologist and your surgeon before the surgery. Any hospital where endometriosis is seen as an important disease should schedule these two meetings.
The meeting with the anesthesiologist
I was operated four years ago, in 2016, in Timisoara, Romania and back then things were a bit different from the present moment. Therefore, I went to hospital a day before my surgery when I talked with my anesthesiologists and also with my surgeon. If you want to read more about me and my journey with endometriosis (in short), here's an article for you.
Questions for your anesthesiologist:
1). How will you perform the anesthesia?
2). How will I feel after endometriosis surgery, from the anesthesia point of view? – it is better to know the common “side effects” like pains, headaches, abdominal pains, dizziness, cough etc.
3). How the anesthesia will be affected by certain procedures/pills/medical treatments I have taken lately? – this is more of an update for your doctors to let them know if you took something “special”, let’s say a month prior to the surgery. For example, I took Medrol so I let them know about it.
4). How is anesthesia affected by some other chronic illnesses I have, for example, asthma?
5). Mention and ask whatever worries you may have.
6). Mention any “particularity” you may have – for example, I told my doctors about the fact I almost always have a higher pulse and a low blood pressure. This is exactly what happened during and after surgery (a higher pulse) but doctors were informed and knew what to do.
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Questions to ask your surgeon
I know these days doctors are always in a hurry and do not have so much time available but I do believe this meeting is very important and, when possible, it should happen 1-2 days before the surgery. In another train of thoughts, both in the anesthesiologist case, and in the case of your surgeon, remember they are probably very busy, so calm down your emotions, write down all your questions and don’t waste your but also their time.
1). What risks or complications does my endometriosis surgery imply?
2). How long will the surgery last approximately?
3). How will things going on after surgery (the best scenario)?
4). What are my chances to got pregnant afterwards (natural pregnancy vs. IVF)
5). I don’t want to get pregnant, for the moment. What can I do after endometriosis surgery to have a normal life and to be able, at a certain moment in the future, to have my own children?
6). I do not tolerate/ I don’t want to take birth control pills. What are my options? What are my risks if I refuse birth control pills/any other endometriosis treatment? From your experience, as an endometriosis surgeon, do you have patients who could manage their endometriosis some other way?
7). Are there cases with patients who took birth control pills but still had a recurrence? – To clarify here, what a recurrence is, from my point of view, and I am not a doctor, just a journalist and an endometriosis patient, recurrence does not mean an ovarian cyst that seems to be an endometrioma, but talk to your doctor about it).
8). Do you have patients who took some other type of treatment after endometriosis surgery (for example diet, supplements etc.) but still had recurrence?
9). How much lifestyle after surgery plays a difference, no matter the chosen treatment?
10). If your doctor gave you a questionnaire prior to surgery, ask him if you may have some questions on it.
Besides these questions, remember it is very important to find a very good doctor, experienced in diagnosing, treating and operating endometriosis, who always reads studies, go to conferences and has (at least) dozens of advanced endometriosis cases, successfully solved.
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Check also my other articles from Endometriosis Journal (there is one about the challenges after a bowel resection endometriosis surgery).
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