Here is a list of questions that I am compiling in preparation for my first consultation with my neurosurgeon.
- What type of tumor do I have?
- I’ve been told the tumor is probably benign, do you agree?
- What is the natural course of my condition if not addressed?
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the treatment goals?
- Do I need additional tests before we can decide on treatment options?
- Which treatment option do you recommend?
- Will the treatment eliminate the current symptoms?
- What are the risks/side effects?
- What are the pros/cons of beginning treatment sooner rather than waiting?
- What should I do to prepare for treatment? Can I continue my current exercise routine? Should I add/subtract anything?
- How long will the treatment/recovery take?
- How long is the hospital stay?
- How long will I be out of work?
- If I need surgery, do you perform the whole procedure? Will students/other surgeons be doing any parts of the operation? If yes, who are they and what are their qualifications?
- Who else will assist you in the operation? What are their background and qualifications?
- How long would I need to stay in Houston?
- What is the success rate for this treatment?
- What is the long-term outlook/prognosis for my condition?
- What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?
- I am thinking about going for a second opinion. Is there someone there you would recommend?
- Can I talk to any other patients who have undergone similar treatment?
If I do need surgery:
- What kind of pain should I expect post-op? And for how long?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- Will I need to have inpatient PT/rehab following the surgery? If yes, for how long?
- Will I be able to get adequate PT follow up when I get back home?
- Will I need any special equipment after surgery (i.e. a back brace, a walker)?
- How often will I need to come to Houston for follow-up care after the surgery?
- Do you have any previously existing ties with neurosurgeons/neurologists in my area?
- What will I do (who do I call) if I have problems after I am back home post-surgery?
- What kind of assistance will I need during the recovery period?
- When will I be able to drive?
- If I have surgery to remove the tumor, what is the likelihood that I will develop another one in the future?
Can you think of anything I missed?
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