If you are diagnosed with some sort of brain tumor, your doctors will most likely want to operate as quickly as possible. They like to do it as soon as possible because the tumor can keep growing in size. If it is a fast-growing tumor, they will want to have brain surgery right away. Sometimes there are benefits to waiting, if it’s not fast-growing you may want to wait for a clinical trial. However, if the tumor is near a critical part in your brain, you will not want to wait.
Preparing for surgery can be very scary. It’s very important to ask your doctor lots of questions before surgery. The more you know about your surgery and the post-op steps the more it will help you make better decisions and lessen your anxiety. You should tell your doctor if you have a history of heart problems as he will need to get you cleared by a cardiologist. It’s also important to tell your doctor about the different medications you are currently taking. Your doctor may want you to discontinue use of some or all of your medications at least 7 days prior to surgery. Your doctor may also want to run tests to see if you are a good candidate for undergoing surgery. They will want to see if you are good with anesthesia and if you will make a good recovery after surgery. They may also run blood tests to check your overall health, breathing tests, and x-rays to make sure your lungs are healthy enough for the surgery.
Also before surgery, your doctor may ask you a series of questions to get a neurological baseline to compare to your results after surgery. For example, they will ask you questions to see how alert you are, putting a light in your eyes or asking you to use your muscles in your hands or legs.
Before surgery you should also prepare your home for post-op. You will need to discuss with your doctor what adjustments will need to be made. Sometimes you will need in-home care. You should get this scheduled prior to surgery. You should also think about your body’s mobility after surgery. Will you be able to get to the bathroom easily? If you have children it’s important to think about who will be taking care of them while you’re recovering.
Also before brain surgery, you will need to talk to your insurance agent. You will need to make sure you have coverage for the operation. Also, talk to your agent about what is included in the coverage such as the length of hospital stay and if they will cover post-surgical care.
Brain surgery is very serious and as with all surgery it’s worth noting it may be important to make sure your living will is up to date. Discuss with a close family member any changes that you may want to make.
Boulder Neurosurgical and Spine Associates are a great resource and they have a team of trusted surgeons that will help you every step of the way.