Questions to Ask the Neurosurgeon

It is important that you feel comfortable with the surgeon and information shared with you. To assist in your decision-making, some sample questions you may ask him or her include:

  1. What microsurgical approaches are available and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?

  2. What microsurgical approach do you recommend for my tumour size, location, age, health and level of hearing and other symptoms I experience?

  3. What are the possible implications of the approach you are recommending long-term?

  4. How many acoustic tumours have you removed and what specific training in acoustic tumour surgery have you had?

  5. Are facial nerve results or the hearing results more important in the long-term outcome? How will you try to preserve hearing loss or facial nerve issues?

  6. For a tumour the size and shape of mine, what have been your results with respect to facial nerve function, both temporary and permanent? Do you electrically monitor the facial nerve during surgery?

  7. What is the likelihood that my remaining hearing will be preserved after this surgery?

  8. Do you anticipate total tumour removal with a single operation? If not, what are my follow-up options? Surgery? Radiation?

  9. In your experience, when leaving in small pieces of residual tumour on the brainstem or facial nerve, does tumour growth usually stop?

  10. How long do you expect will my operation take? Will I be transferred to a special care unit following my surgery?

  11. Will this surgery be done by a team of physicians with more than one specialty and who will it be?

  12. What actions do you take to avoid surgical complications such as possible stroke, infection, bleeding, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) leak and headache? What percentage develop complications?

  13. How much discomfort, if any, might I expect following surgery?

  14. How many days will I be in the hospital and will I require follow-up care? If so please describe.

  15. Will I experience post-surgery headaches and if so how can they be minimized?

  16. How often will I require follow-up MRIs after treatment?