"Unfortunately, his answers were very short and not at all helpful. I understand he is busy, though, so I'm hoping asking in person will be better."
I think I have a bit of advice that may help you with this probelm too..
Please remember, you are going in for surgery...and the more informed you are, the least likely you are to be full of anxiety or doubts. Insist that your questions be answered in a way you understand before you sign the consent forms. Having the surgeon explain exactly what is going to go on, what your recovery will include, and after hospital care is something you should know, and there is no excuse for not getting the information told to you, or written for you in a way you understand!
Doctors have a very important jobs (same with us nurses), we take care of you, nothing to be taken lightly! Informing you of what is going to go on with your body is a large part of that...and no one can so busy as not to take some time out to explain things to your satisfaction. Part of your job is to be an advocate for yourself, and make sure that you voice your concerns so that Doctors and Nurses know and can help you to understand.
We can't help patients unless we know what the probelm is...and anxiety about things like catheters, or pain issues, or even some fears about activities you may wish to resume as soon as possible (IE work, how much you can lift and when, when can you take a shower or bath, and yes..intamacy issues too!) can only be helped if we are informed that they are present.
People underestimate their anxiety or concerns...especially in regards to Physicians. People don't want to 'bother' a doctor with these probelms, but in addition to nurses who will provide information...it is very important to get much of the information from that particular surgeon who did the surgery as you can...you two are working together on this, best to have the expectations on the table before the surgery!
If I could make a suggestion...write down your concerns and talk to the surgeon before you sign the concent forms. Even I do this, because..well gee it isn't like we are a bit nervous before this...so if I write them down I actually remember to ask! OR if I get sidetracked I can get back to the point by looking at my list! I also don't let that doc out of that room till I have my questions answered! I am about to be rather volunerable in his care, so I really want to make sure that I can depend on this person...and that includes time if I need it!
I hope for a speedy recovery for you after this surgery. My patients that have had this done sing the praises after their recovery, and say it is definately worth it! Remember that you play a huge role in recovery, and make sure that your questions get answered, and you follow the instructions given to you..yes, including that special time a nurse walks in and tells you you have to walk for the first time.