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Wednesday, January 21, 2009 9:00 AM
Radiocast: What You Should Know Before Surgery

Debra: This is Healthcare 411: Information for your health. Every year, more than 15 million Americans have surgery. AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn Clancy is here to talk about what to ask your doctor before you undergo surgery.

Dr. Clancy: The types of questions someone should ask about a procedure before having it include: the exact name of the procedure; why it’s being recommended; what are the risk and benefits of having this done; the alternatives - what happens if I just wait and see or take medicines; how many times the surgeon or other physician has done that procedure, and what kinds of outcomes that person has had.

Debra: Any other advice, doctor?

Dr. Clancy: Getting a second opinion can be very helpful, so if you have any doubts, a second opinion is a great idea.

Debra: To learn more about this and dozens of other health topics, go to healthcare411.ahrq.gov. Healthcare 411 is produced by AHRQ, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Debra James for Healthcare 411.

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