Timing your elective surgery: Here’s what you need to know

On November 17, 2017 in MedicalMedical

Timing your elective surgery: Here’s what you need to know

Elective surgery operating room

Many Americans choose to undergo surgery to seek relief from pain or to correct a wide range of problems that may include deformities, poor vision or chronic conditions. Others choose to have operations such as plastic surgery for reasons that, in some instances, may be more about appearance than medical necessity. Regardless of the reason, the umbrella under which surgeries are classified as “elective” is broad.

For some, the fourth quarter is a popular time for elective surgeries. Patients may have met insurance deductibles for the year and could be in a more favorable financial position than if they wait until a new year dawns. Holiday weeks can also factor into the equation as people may seek to have medical procedures done when they’re off from work or school.

Consider elective surgery cautiously

Whenever you decide to do it, know that elective surgery is not without risk. Even for a person in top physical shape, any sort of invasive surgery — whether it is a facelift, breast augmentation, vision correction or hundreds of others procedures — can have negative consequences.

Verywell.com published an informative article that takes a look at the risks one may face in any surgery, including, but not limited to:

  • Complications from anesthesia
  • Infections
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Scarring

There are also more sobering outcomes that are rare but possible, including injury during surgery that results in paralysis or even death. Where elective surgeries are concerned, the most serious outcomes, no matter how uncommon, should be factored into a patient’s decision and made in consultation with the surgeon to determine if the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

Are you prepared financially?

If you have evaluated your own situation and decided to move forward with elective surgery, make certain your finances are in order.

Health insurance is a mixed bag when it comes to elective surgeries according to insurancecompanies.com. From one company to the next, reimbursement varies from full coverage to none at all for a variety of elective surgeries.

Bariatric surgery for weight loss is a good example. Some insurers view it as an investment in your good health that will pay for itself. Other insurers won’t cover bariatric surgery because it may not be medically necessary.

The insurance conundrum applies to many elective procedures and you should know your financial obligations before submitting to the operation. Surgery of just about any type is costly and the bevy of bills that will roll in after you’re back home can come as shock if you’re not prepared.

Steel your nerves

Elective surgery can be joyous if it produces positive, life-changing results, but it can be an emotional roller coaster. It is perfectly normal for anyone to be excited by changes to come, but stressed by what it’s going to involve and what it’s going to cost.

If you’re headed down a path toward elective surgery, here’s wishing you the very best for a positive outcome.

LightStream lends money for individuals having elective surgery every day. If you have such plans, we’re ready to help!