What follows is a series of questions to take with you to your doctor’s appointment. These questions are designed to help you get any information you need to make important decisions about your treatment and aftercare.

Please note, depending on the condition you have and your own circumstances, you may not want or need to ask all of the following questions. We have not included any general answers to these questions because the answers should come from your doctor and be specific to you as an individual.

Treatment

  • What are my treatment options?
  • Is there a standard form of treatment for my condition? What does this involve?
  • Are there any alternative treatments? What do they involve?
  • Would you recommend a particular treatment and why?
  • Are there any risks associated with the treatment and how do they apply to me?
  • Will the treatment cure my condition or will I still have symptoms?
  • How long will it take before I feel better?
  • What should I do if I feel unwell? Are there any specific symptoms I should look out for?
  • If I choose not to have any treatment, what might happen to my health?

Preparing for your treatment

  • Who will carry out my treatment? What experience do they have in this type of treatment?
  • Will my treatment be carried out at an outpatient appointment, as a day-case or will I need to stay in hospital?
  • How should I prepare for my treatment? For example, will I need to stop taking any current medicine or follow a special diet?
  • Will I be given an anaesthetic?

Aftercare

  • Will I be able to make my own way home/be left alone after having the treatment or will I need someone with me?
  • Will I be in any discomfort or immobile in any way after the treatment? Will I be given any medicine or therapy to help with this?
  • Will I need any follow-up care or regular check-ups after my treatment?
  • How do I make sure I stay well?
  • Can the condition come back?

For questions to ask my doctor about my condition, see our conditions questions .

For questions to ask my doctor about any test(s) I may need, see our test(s) questions.

It may be helpful to read through these questions before you go to your appointment and add any additional questions you want to ask. Take along a pen and paper to your appointment to make notes if you’re worried about forgetting anything. Alternatively, ask your doctor to write down the information for you.

If you don’t understand something your doctor tells you, don’t be afraid to ask them to clarify or explain it again. You can double check your understanding, for example, by asking “Can I just check that I’ve understood what you’ve said?” then recap what you’ve discussed.

Before you leave your appointment, make sure you are clear on what will happen next. It may be helpful to ask who to contact if you have any problems or further questions.

Produced by Kerry McKeagney, Bupa Health Information Team, April 2012.

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