I've heard the term "elective surgery," but I'm not sure what it means. Is
it just a procedure that you choose to get, like a nose job? –Heather
The name "elective" might imply that this type of surgery is optional, but that's
not always the case. An elective procedure is simply one that is planned in advance,
rather than one that's done in an emergency situation.
A wide range of surgical procedures can be considered elective. Cosmetic surgeries
fall into this category, but so can things like ear
and scoliosis surgery. Although
these procedures may be done "electively," they can be significant and potentially
Another category is an urgent procedure. This is something that
usually must be done that day (for example, an appendectomy).
Some surgeries (such as when someone is bleeding a lot internally) are considered
emergency procedures. These must be done right away.
If your child is scheduled for elective surgery, you should receive instructions
from your doctor about how to prepare and what to expect. You might consider
asking questions such as:
Are there certain foods or activities my child should avoid before the operation? How
many hours before the operation should my child stop eating?
Does my child need to take any special medicines before the operation, and should
he or she continue taking regular medicines up until the day of surgery?
Are there any other medicines or vitamins he or she should not take before the
Will my child need to be on a breathing machine during or after the surgery?
How will my child feel after the operation? Will pain medication be needed?
How long does it take for most people to recover from this operation? Will
my child need any rehabilitation?
How soon should we follow up with you after the operation?
It's important to remember that your insurance
provider may have specific requirements about elective surgeries. It
might only reimburse procedures done by "in-network" providers or may require
you to get a second opinion. You'll want to find out whether or not your insurance
will cover the entire cost of the operation, the hospitalization, the prescriptions,
and any other associated fees.
It's a good idea to call your insurance provider to check up on these things when
you're in the early stages of planning elective surgery.