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Questions to ask your surgeon

Before surgery, you’ll have an opportunity to speak with your surgeon and ask all the questions you want. Your surgeon wants to know that you both are on the same page about the procedure. Below are some questions you may want to ask:

  • Where exactly is my cancer located?
  • Can you describe to me what will be happening during the procedure?
  • What are you planning to remove? 
  • Do I need any treatment before surgery, such as chemotherapy or radiation?
  • Is this the standard type of surgery for my condition?
  • What type of surgery will I have (open or laparoscopic)?
  • Do you offer additional procedures for pain control, such as a nerve block? 
  • What will my scar look like?
  • How many times have you performed this type of operation successfully?
  • What do I need to do to prepare for surgery?
  • How long will I stay in the hospital?
  • Will I have an ostomy? If so, which kind? Will it be permanent or temporary?
  • What side effects might I experience after this surgery?
  • What will I need to do to care for my incision?
  • What will recovery look like?
  • Will I experience any permanent physical changes?
  • What can I expect in terms of bowel function after surgery?
  • When can I resume my daily activities?
  • When can I go back to work?
  • Will I need chemo after surgery? If so, how long after surgery will I start?
  • Will I need to follow a special diet after surgery?
  • When can I start exercising again?
  • How often will I follow up with you after the surgery has finished?

Here is a downloadable list of these questions that you can print out and take with you to your appointment: Questions to ask your surgeon

Want to learn more about surgery?

Join one of our COLONTOWN Facebook groups:

  • COLONTOWN Downtown Come visit COLONTOWN’s main street for general discussions about surgery
  • Corner Cupboard for discussions on side effect management
  • Palliative Pathways for advice on how your palliative care team can help you cope with side effects
  • Rectalburgh for patients with rectal cancer

Want to join? Fill out the registration form here.

COLONTOWN University has so much more to offer, from DocTalk videos with CRC experts to easy-to-understand biomarker test breakdowns. We’re here for you! See our list of Learning Centers here.