The Top Questions To Ask Neurosurgeons Before Surgery

Medical procedures are situations we hope to never experience; however, for some, there are instances where medical procedures face the person straight in the face. It may be something as simple as receiving a few stitches or resetting a broken nose, but it may also be something serious such as neurosurgery. Contrary to popular belief, neurosurgeons are not employed for cases focusing on the brain exclusively but will also complete surgery for chronic ailments where traditional treatment has failed and the brain may be involved. Irrespective of the type of surgery, there are particular questions you should ask the neurosurgeon before agreeing to any type of surgery. This article will provide a guide to the top questions you should ask.

1. What Alternatives Are Available?

It may be assumed that all alternatives have been explored to arrive at the option of surgery, but this is not always true. In many cases, primary care physicians and traditional healers do not have the medical knowledge to provide additional alternative therapies. Before considering surgery, it may be beneficial to question different treatments and consider alternative remedies. Surgery should always be the last option.

2. What Are The Risks Of Surgery?

There are very few surgical procedures that do not present with any long or short-term risks. When entering discussions of surgery, it is essential that you understand the different risks involved in your potential procedure. By having some knowledge of the procedure and the risks, it is possible to make an informed decision regarding the surgery and whether or not you are interested in undergoing it.

3. What Are The Benefits Of Surgery?

In addition to risk, there must be some benefits of the surgical procedure. Despite seeming like an obvious question, querying the benefits of a surgery will provide you with insight into the procedure and how it can help your situation. It will also help determine whether this is the best option for your particular needs as discussions of benefits has typically brought about discussions of the patient’s specific case.

4. What Is The Recovery Period?

When discussing the recovery period it is recommended that you question the time spent in hospital and the recovery time at home. A full recovery period includes both the hospital stay and the period at home which is typically longer than the hospital time. Speaking with neurosurgeons can assist in determining the extent of recovery and may uncover some techniques to speed up the recovery period. The period mentioned can also indicate how invasive the procedure is and will assist in setting out future short-term life plans.

5. What Happens If I Don’t Opt For The Surgery?

After discussing the case and completing research, it is possible that you may refuse the surgical procedure. While this is your prerogative, it is important to have a full understanding of the consequences of your actions. It is recommended that you discuss the consequences of not having the surgical procedure and how this will influence your life in addition to the various aspects of having the procedure.

Neurosurgery Questions

Undergoing any type of surgery is a highly daunting and serious situation; however, in some cases, the option of surgery is the only suitable treatment available. If you are faced with this medical situation, it is important to consider all possibilities and make various enquiries to ensure the surgery truly is the most suitable treatment. This article will provide some information on the most important questions to ask a neurosurgeon when discussing the possibility of undergoing neurosurgery.

1. Are There Alternative Treatments Available?

Despite neurosurgery often being the final option, it is possible that further treatments have not yet been discussed. This being taken into consideration, it is recommended that you question the availability of additional treatments when discussing surgery with a physician. Typically, the issue will be covered with a primary care physician; however, it may be the case that the primary care physician does not have sufficient knowledge to provide all alternatives. This may be that they are not aware of the treatments available or the new research into your specific medical case. Always review additional treatment and keep surgery as an absolute last resort.

2. What Are The Benefits Of The Surgery?

This may seem a rather obvious question, but it is highly recommended that you discuss the different benefits of the surgery. This will assist in detailing how the surgery will help as a treatment and whether it is worth consideration. Furthermore, you should query the effects of the benefits and how long the positive effects will last. It may be beneficial to remove chronic neck pain, but the reproduction of pain later in life should be considered when making an informed decision regarding surgery.

3. What Are The Risks Of The Surgery?

All forms of surgery will carry complications and risks; therefore, it is essential that you understand these aspects to make a realistic, informed decision regarding surgery. When discussing the procedure it is recommended that you question the possible risks and complications for both long-term and short-term situations. By this we refer to the possibility of infections and bleeding, in addition to long-term side effects. In many cases, a discussion of risk has helped patients opt for alternative therapies based on their needs and concerns; however, this is purely dependent on the severity of your medical condition and opinion of the neurosurgeon.

4. What Will Happen If The Surgery Is Not Undergone?

The option to undergo or not undergo a surgery is the patient’s and not the surgeon’s; however, the surgeon must provide information to assist with an informed decision regarding this choice. When discussing the surgery, it is important to question the consequences of not completing the neurosurgery. In many cases, surgery is often a last resort and the consequences of not undergoing surgery will be a worsening of the condition. Of course, there are those situations where the option of an alternative treatment can be more beneficial than surgery.

5. Can I Have A Second Opinion?

Second opinions are more than welcome, particularly when discussing an issue as life-changing as surgery. It is possible to ask the neurosurgeon and/or primary care physician for contact details of qualified neurosurgeons.

Neurosurgery Procedures

Neurosurgery can be used to treat serious health conditions, relieve chronic pain, or improve general health. Individuals should try to familiarize themselves with the many types of neurosurgery procedures out there. The more people know about the available procedures, it easier it will be for people to find treatments that are a good fit for their needs.

Common Cranial Procedures

Neurosurgeons frequently treat people that have tumors, blood clots, head injuries, and aneurysms. Although many people think of cranial procedures when they hear the term “neurosurgery,” these procedures aren’t as common as one might think. Because cranial surgery can be dangerous, medical professionals typically look at other ways to treat an issue first.

Neurosurgeons have also helped people that have vascular malformations, as well as people with hydrocephalus. People who receive these procedures are usually referred to a surgeon by their general practitioner.

Common Thoracic Procedures

Some thoracic surgical procedures are minimally invasive. For example, kyphoplasty, which is used to treat spinal compression fractures, is a procedure that most people can easily recover from. It’s far less complex than more famous neurosurgery procedures are.

Other thoracic procedures are also minimally invasive. Vertebroplasty, which relieves the pain that is associated with compression fractures, is frequently done. It’s an in-and-out procedure with a host of benefits.

It’s important for people to remember that no type of surgery has to be invasive, even neurosurgery. There are a number of procedures that are both simple and beneficial.

Common Cervical Procedures

Cervical procedures are often used to treat spinal cord compression. One such example is Anterior Cervical Discectomy, which works to decompress the spinal cord and the surrounding nerve roots. This treatment usually isn’t a first resort. It can be quite complex, and surgeons only try it after other kinds of procedures have already failed.

Posterior Cervical Fusion is used to treat similar issues. It can stabilize two vertebrae, which can result in less nerve pain. Another similar procedure is Cervical Laminectomy, which is also used to treat pain from ruptured discs.

Common Lumbar Procedures

Lumbar procedures are often used to treat leg pain, as well as chronic pain in the back. It is able to treat spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, as well as pain associated with recurrent disc herniation. There are also conservative, minimally invasive procedures that are used to treat pinched nerves. One example is MicroLumbar Discectomy.

In some cases, a shunt may be used to treat hydrocephalus or a tumor. With the proper treatment, fluid can be diverted from the lumbar region to the abdomen.

It’s a good idea for people to familiarize themselves with some of the procedures that are being used by neurosurgeons today. Not every procedure out there is invasive; there are many treatments that are very simple.

Anyone with a chronic pain condition should talk to their doctor about the relief that neurosurgery would be able to provide. From there, doctors can provide a referral to a skilled surgeon, or suggest other types of treatment.