Council on Aging Answers 2017 - 33

COUNCIL ON AGING - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Getting a second opinion
means asking another
doctor about your surgical
plan. It is a common
medical practice.

Informed Consent
Before having any surgery, you will be asked to sign
a consent form. This form says that the surgeon has told
you about the operation, the risks involved, and what
results to expect. It's important to talk about all your concerns before signing this form. Your surgeon should be
willing to take the time needed to make sure you know
what is likely to happen before, during, and after surgery.
Outpatient Surgery
Outpatient surgery, sometimes called same-day surgery, is common for many types of operations. Outpatient
surgery can be done in a special part of the hospital or in
a surgical center. You will go home within hours after the
surgery. Outpatient surgery can cost less than an overnight hospital stay. Your doctor will tell you if outpatient
surgery is right for you.
Planning for Surgery
There are many steps you can take to make surgery

Paying for Surgery
The total cost of any surgery includes many different bills. Your surgeon can tell you how much he or she
charges. You may also be billed by other doctors, such
as the anesthesiologist. There will be hospital charges as
well.
To find out what the hospital will cost, call the hospital's business office.
For information about Medicare benefits, call the tollfree customer service line at 800-633-4227 or contact the
Council on Aging Southern California at 800-434-0222
and ask for HICAP. If you have secondary or supplemental health insurance, check to see what part of the costs
it will pay. Talk to your surgeon if you can't afford the
surgery.
For More Information contact:
n The American College of Surgeons
www.facs.org
n National Library of Medicine, Medline Plus
www.medlineplus.gov

Council On Aging - Southern California | 714-479-0107 | www.coasc.org	 Answers Guide 2017

33

HEALTHCARE

easier. Before surgery:
n Make sure you have your pre-operation tests and
screenings, such as blood tests and x-rays.
n Be sure you have all your insurance questions answered.
n Make plans for any medical equipment or help with
health care you will need when you go home.
Getting a Second Opinion
n Arrange for an adult to drive you home and stay
Getting a second opinion means asking another doctor
with you for the first 24-hours after surgery.
about your surgical plan. It is a common medical pracn Get written instructions about your care, a phone
tice. Most doctors think it's a good idea. With a second
number to call if you have a problem and prescripopinion, you will get expert advice from another surgeon
tion medicines you'll need at home.
who knows about treating your medical problem. A second opinion can help you make a
The Day of Surgery:
good decision. You can ask your
n Leave your jewelry at home.
surgeon to send your medical
n Don't wear make-up or conrecords to the second doctor. This
tact lenses to surgery.
can save time and money since
you may not have to repeat tests.
Following Surgery:
When getting a second opinion,
n Make sure you follow all
be sure to tell the doctor about all
your doctor's directions
your symptoms and the type of
once you're home.
surgery that has been suggested.
n Go for your scheduled postMedicare may help pay for a secoperative check-up.
ond opinion. If you have a private
n Ask your doctor when you can return to your norsupplemental health insurance plan, find out if it covers a
mal activities.
second opinion.
Choosing a Surgeon
Your primary care doctor may suggest a surgeon to
you. The State of California Medical Board can tell you
about your surgeon's training. www.mbc.ca.gov. Try to
choose a surgeon whose expertise specializes in medical
problems like yours.


http://www.mbc.ca.gov http://www.facs.org http://www.medlineplus.gov http://www.coasc.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Council on Aging Answers 2017

Contents
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Intro
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Cover1
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Cover2
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - 1
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