For More Information

Having Surgery? What You Need to Know

Here are some places you can get more information. 


The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has free pamphlets on When You Need an Operation. For copies, write to:

The American College of Surgeons
Office of Public Information
633 N. St. Clair Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 202-5000 (toll free: 1-800-621-4111)

This group has pamphlets that give general information about surgery and other pamphlets that describe specific surgical procedures. These pamphlets are also available on the ACS Web site at 

Second Opinion

For the free brochure, Getting a Second Opinion Before Surgery: Your Choices and Medicare Coverage, write to:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Room 555, East High Rise Building
6325 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21207

Ask for Publication No. CMS 02173.

The brochure can also be found on the CMS Web site at

For the name of a specialist in your area who can give you a second opinion, ask your primary care doctor or surgeon, the local medical society, or your health insurance company. Medicare beneficiaries may also obtain information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Medicare hotline; call toll-free 1-800-633-4227. 


Free booklets on what you should know about anesthesia are available from the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) or the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). For copies, write to:

The American Society of Anesthesiologists
520 North Northwest Highway
Park Ridge, IL 60068
Phone: (847) 825-5586


The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
222 S. Prospect Avenue
Park Ridge, IL 60068-4001
Phone: (847) 692-7050.


For almost every disease, there is a national or local association or society that publishes patient information. Check your local telephone directory.

There are also organized groups of patients with certain illnesses that may be able to provide information about a condition, alternative treatments, and experiences with local doctors and hospitals. Ask your hospital or doctors if they know of any patient groups related to your condition.

Also, your local public library has medical reference materials about health care treatments. Many libraries now have Health Information Centers, special sections with books and pamphlets on health and disease. Your librarian also can help you find trusted sources of medical information on the Internet. One such site is healthfinder™.

Current as of October 2005
Internet Citation: For More Information: Having Surgery? What You Need to Know. October 2005. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.