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What to ask your doctor about bowel cancer surgery

Men and women discussing bowel cancer

Some questions you may want to ask your doctor

  • Why do I need an operation?
  • Which type of operation should I have?
  • What is the aim of the surgery?
  • How many of these operations do you carry out each year?
  • What are your results for this type of surgery?
  • What other treatment choices do I have?
  • What are the risks and benefits of surgery?
  • What are the short and long term effects of the operation?
  • Will I have to have a colostomy or ileostomy?
  • Will my stoma be temporary or permanent?
  • Do you know anyone who has had a colostomy or ileostomy who I could talk to?
  • Who will help me manage my colostomy or ileostomy?
  • Where should I get stoma equipment from?
  • How should I prepare for the operation?
  • How will you manage my pain after the operation?
  • How long will it take me to get over the surgery?
  • How often will I come back to the hospital after the surgery?
  • Will the operation affect my sex life?
  • Will I have to change my diet after the operation?
  • Will I need any other treatment after surgery?
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Updated: 29 August 2013