Preparing for major surgery: a checklist

If you or a loved one has a major surgery scheduled, it’s important for you and your family to prepare for all potential outcomes. Your medical plan and recovery are under your doctor’s control, but you and your family should prepare to address your non-health related issues before your surgery occurs.

The following checklist may be helpful for you in planning for the next steps.

  1. Review your health insurance information. If you are unsure how much of your surgery your insurance may cover, call your insurance agent to discuss the procedure, the payment options, and who will be responsible for what. The best time for these questions is before your surgery happens, as you’ll then be able to focus solely on recovery after the surgery is complete.
  2. Ensure your estate planning documents are in order. While the likelihood of needing these documents is slim, a major surgery offers a good opportunity for you to review and update your will and any other estate planning documents you may have.
  3. Ensure your Medical Power of Attorney is up to date, and talk to the person who holds that responsibility to ensure they understand what you want should something go wrong.
  4. Create and share a list of contacts who should be notified after the surgery is complete. Many people will likely want to hear how you or your loved one is doing, and preparing a list of contacts beforehand can simplify the task. Help organize the list so that the person who needs to relay the information only needs to make one or two calls and then those people can help relay the information to others. 

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