When it comes to your healthcare, you are the only one who can decide which treatment is best for you. It is important that you recognize that you have a responsibility to participate in, and take ownership of, any decisions involving your healthcare. You will be asked to make the final decision about what is best for you, so make sure to ask questions about anything you do not understand or that needs further clarification.

Additionally, your family and close friends are an important part of this collaborative process. We encourage you to include them in any education sessions we provide concerning your condition. If you choose to have surgery, we will make every effort to keep family members informed of your progress and to involve them in your recovery process.

Deciding which treatment option is best for you involves weighing the risks and benefitsassociated with each option. If you eventually choose to have surgery, both your physical condition and your overall mental attitude will determine your body’s ability to heal. You must approach your surgery with confidence, a positive attitude and a thorough understanding of the anticipated outcome. You should have realistic goals, and be willing to work steadily to achieve those goals.

The Most Important Member

Perhaps the most important trait that separates an empowered patient from the rest is the role of “active participant,” as a fully participating partner on the healthcare team. Remember that you are the most important member on your healthcare team! You know your body better than anyone else, and it is both your right and your responsibility to fully participate in any decision-making involving your care.