You are here: Home Colorectal Cancer Colorectal ... Surgery For Colon ... Resection: Before You ...
Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

Surgery For Colon Cancer: Stages II, III, IV

Resection: Before You Leave The Hospital

Next » « Previous


Before you leave the hospital:
  • Get a discharge plan. The plan should include everything you will need to know for life after you leave the hospital so you know:
    • What to expect 
    • How to deal with situations that may arise 
    • What you can and cannot do, and 
    • When to call the doctor.
  • Request a copy of your medical records summarizing everything that happened in the hospital. 
    • Under law, you are entitled to a copy of your medical records.  
    • If you cannot get a copy to take with you, ask that it be mailed. Some hospitals require that you pick up medical records at the hospital at a later date. 
    • Take the copy to your next doctor's appointment. Then keep it with your copy of your medical records. (Yes! It is advisable to have your own copy of your medical records.)
  • Pre-arrange a follow-up appointment with your doctor.
    • It will save you the hassle of remembering to call when you get home.
    • You'll have a date to look forward to.
  • Remind your doctor that you do not want to be in pain.  
    • Ask for a prescription for strong pain medications.  You do not have to fill the prescription. If you do, you do not have to take the pills unless they are needed, or you can take smaller doses as warranted by splitting a pill.  (To learn about pill splitting, click here.)
    • If you have the prescription, you won’t have to take time to contact the doctor, get a prescription and fill the prescription after you go home. 
    • Many doctors tend to under treat pain. As noted above, it is a myth to think you will become addicted to pain medications if you take the meds for pain relief.
  • Plan ahead for your needs when you are discharged from the hospital. For example:
    • Wear clothes that are loose fitting and soft against what could be tender skin. 
      • For instance, a large button-front men's shirt or a house dress with snaps in the front, top to bottom. 
      • Assume any belongings you bring home from a hospital are contaminated and should be washed before being used again
  • If you have an ostomy: If you have access to the internet, this could be a good time to start shopping for items you may need post surgery.
  • Review the hospital bill
    • According to a variety of studies, the percentage of hospital bills that are wrong is quite high. 
    • It is worth your while to take the time to review the bill – even if it is being paid for entirely by insurance. Survivorship A to Z shows you how, as well as to how to negotiate a hospital bill, in the document in “To Learn More.”  
  • If the hospital asks you to pay the bill before leaving:
    • If you don't have insurance, you can negotiate the bill. (Check it first. According to studies, most hospital bills have errors in the hospital’s favor. See “To Learn More.”)
    • If you do have insurance, check with your insurance company before paying.
  • If you will need home care after you leave the hospital, it is available. 
    • The discharge planner in the hospital will help to arrange care.
    • Ask a family member of trusted friend to look over your residence and put valuable items away - especially credit cards, cash, jewelry and other items that are small and look expensive so they aren't a temptation to a home care worker.
    • You can either hire an agency, or hire helpers on your own. There are pros and cons to each method which are discussed in the document in "To Learn More."
    • Home care may be covered by your health insurance.

NOTE: If there are health problems after you get homethe best way to ensure that you are covered by insurance is to return to the same hospital.  For example, postoperative care is part of surgery and follow-up will likely be part of it.  Surgery may begin when you enter the operating room but it does not end when you leave .

Please share how this information is useful to you. 0 Comments


Post a Comment Have something to add to this topic? Contact Us.

Characters remaining:

  • Allowed markup: <a> <i> <b> <em> <u> <s> <strong> <code> <pre> <p>
    All other tags will be stripped.