Surgery day is a difficult time for both the patient and caregiver. Lots of scary unanswered questions come up like "Is the tumor malignant?" "Will the doctors get it all out?" "Will my loved one need chemotherapy or radiation?" "Will they survive the surgery?" "Will they still be the same after surgery?"
In order to get these questions answered, it's important to research all of your options thoroughly. Make sure you seek out information on the neurosurgeon and the hospital where the surgery will be performed. Do not settle for a doctor or hospital that has limited experience with brain tumors. Investigate the major brain tumor centers in the country to make sure you are getting the best possible care for your loved one. Take notes and keep records.
The day of surgery, be prepared with a pad of paper to write down what the doctor says because you might be so nervous and worried that you forget what everyone says. Also, bring along a support system for you, the caregiver. Sitting in a hospital waiting room for many hours waiting to hear how your loved one is can be exhausting and it really is important to have your friends and family near. Friends and family will make sure you eat something, will keep you company during a long operation, and will also help to keep your mind occupied with conversation that can relieve the tension of worrying and waiting.
Check our links for the web addresses for major brain surgery centers. Also, The Patient Advocate Foundation helps patients and caregivers know their rights with regard to patients and their insurance and employers.
BrainTumour.net explores the awake craniotomy procedure and is very informative. The site is created by survivor Greg Scott.
Brain Tumor Foundation - this surgery overview explains the goals of neurosurgery, surgical methods and stereotactic procedures.
Brain Surgery Information Center - Useable, non-technical information about the conditions which require brain surgery.
Boston Neurosurgical Foundation - A multi-institutional neurosurgical team in Boston, Mass. Its research efforts in Neuroscience and tumor biology aim to achieve significant scientific discovery while being relevant to neurological practice. Kim's surgeries were at Brigham and Womens which is part of the Foundation.
Neurosurgeon.com - Provides a listing of every Neurosurgeon who has a web presence. Also has other links to sites in the field of Neurosurgery.
NYU School of Medicine - Department of Neurosurgery NYU Medical Center is one of the major brain tumor treatment centers in the country. Mike's surgeries were here and Dr. Patrick Kelly was his neurosurgeon.
YourSurgery.com Craniotomy is quite graphic in terms of color photos and description, but the content is educational.