Oops, I Wish I Hadn’t Done That – Part 2

It takes many successes to make up for one mishap. That is why so much effort is focused on avoiding and managing complications in the world of minimally invasive surgery.  Last month we talked about the patient care team as the backbone of these efforts. We will continue the discussion with an obvious but often underestimated component – preparation.

A surgeon can never be too prepared. Here is a list of the essential elements to consider before making that first incision:

  • Full assessment of the patient’s medical condition to ensure that the treatment plan matches the desired goals
  • Adequate training and experience as it applies to a patient’s specific medical complexities
  • Assessment of patients’ specific risks
  • Checklists (e.g. equipment, medications, procedural steps)
  • Repeated identification of correct procedure and side
  • Computer simulation when applicable
  • A good night’s sleep

Most surgeons incorporate these steps into their routine. Patients certainly expect nothing less.