If you’re having surgery, here’s how to prepare

Get a second opinion. If you are not sure what the best option is, get a second opinion. Do not be afraid to get another doctor's perspective as the most important thing is for you to feel comfortable with your care. Speak to someone who specializes in treating your condition.

Know the facts. Discuss and learn everything about your surgery with your medical team. Talk to your surgeon and everyone who manages your care during the operation. Ask any and every question until you feel comfortable.

Discuss your medical conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any health issues, including heart or lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, dental work, arthritis, or drug allergies. Also make sure to let them know if you or anyone in your family has had a reaction to anesthesia.

Ask about anesthesia. What type of anesthesia you get depends on the type of surgery. Ask your anesthesiologist about your options. You may get local, regional, or general – all of which work differently.

Don't eat or drink before surgery. Don’t forget to avoid eating and drinking before surgery. The combination of food/drink and anesthesia can cause vomiting during or after an operation. This can cause choking and other complications after surgery. Make sure to follow the instructions about when to stop eating or drinking.

Options for pain after surgery. You are likely to experience a great deal of pain after surgery. Tell your doctor if you need pain medicine while you're in the hospital. Ask what your options are for pain relief when you get home.

To avoid hospital infections. After surgery, make sure to keep your hands clean. Do not be afraid to ask your doctors and nurses to wash their hands or sanitize them before treating you as well. This way, you can protect yourself from infections that can cause serious complications.