The Decision to Have Surgery


Having surgery is hard.  The decision to have surgery.  Pre-surgical testing.  Making arrangements for your home and family. Falling asleep the night before.  Giving your name and date of birth 20 times when you get to the hospital.  Pain control after surgery.  Hospital beds… hospital food!  Follow-up visits.  It seems insurmountable and endless.  Yet, countless people each day sign up for surgery, and go through procedures to help improve or even save their lives.  This can only happen because these people, our patients, trust us.


The trust a patient puts in a surgeon is a rare and special thing.  I think we, as physicians, can take this for granted at times.  As I write this, I am sitting in a surgical waiting room, waiting for my wife’s surgeon to emerge from the OR and tell me, “everything went well.”  I know it may not.  But the trust that brought my wife and I to this point is what allowed us to prepare for this moment. I am nervous, and of course my wife was before going into the OR, but we forged ahead because of that trust.


I value that gift of trust from patients by allowing me to care for them.  I do everything possible to protect the trust that families grant as they kiss their loved ones before they head back to the OR.  It does not mean that I can guarantee a surgery or post-operative course without complications.  But I can guarantee that I will help guide patients through this difficult time.  It is the least I can do to repay the gift they have given me.


Ninigret Pond, Charlestown, RI


Ian Madom, MD