Operations: FSA Eligibility
What is an operation?
An operation is a surgical procedure. Operations normally involve a surgeon and anesthesia. Operations were traditionally always conducted at hospitals but increasingly are conducted in outpatient facilities where overnight stays are not required. Medical professionals will care for patients before, during and after an operation. Oftentimes, anesthesia requires that the patient be accompanied by a family member or friend in order to safely transport them home. Many types of anesthesia preclude safe driving, motor-vehicle operation, or even limit a person's judgment and ability to walk home safely (MedlinePlus).
Operations are conducted for a variety of reasons, and always as part of a plan to treat, alleviate or prevent a medical condition or disease. Often times operations are conducted to removal a tumor or suspicious growth that requires biopsy; to repair an injury such as a broken bone; or to treat a disease such as heart disease or assess disease progression through exploratory surgery.
Operations and associated fees are eligible for reimbursement with consumer-directed healthcare plans. Before agreeing to an operation, it's important to speak with a medical doctor who is recommending the operation and to ask several questions. It's important to ask about what sort of testing should be done first, whether giving blood before the operation is necessary, if any medications are necessary to take before, during or after the operation, and the timeframe for limiting intake of solid food and/or liquids. The medical doctor may also recommend avoiding other activities such as smoking or drinking alcohol.
A patient should also ask the medical professional or staff about recovery and lifestyle limitations, such as mobility or wound care, which may affect post-operation lifestyles and routines. It's also important to honestly discuss with a physician what may be permanently lost based on the operation, or if there are risks of nerve damage or other permanent losses of functionality or body parts.