Thousands of Americans will undergo brain aneurysm/AVM/stroke surgery each year. It’s important to communicate your feelings, questions, and concerns with your doctor before having surgery. We encourage you to ask your surgeon questions. Information can lessen anxiety by reducing fear of the “unknown.” In addition, a better understanding of your problem can help you make more informed, and, therefore, make better decisions.
The following are important questions to review with your doctor prior to surgery. Ask your doctor to explain the answers clearly and ask for further clarification if you are having trouble understanding an explanation and/or any medical terms. Some people find it helpful to write their questions down ahead of time.
It is important to remember that a well-informed patient tends to be more satisfied with the outcome or results of a procedure:
- What possible problems should I look for after brain surgery?
- What happens after I am discharged from the hospital after brain surgery?
- What type of operation do I need?
- What do you expect the surgery to achieve?
- Will the operation cure my brain aneurysm/AMV/Hemorrhagic Stroke?
- Will I need any other procedure after surgery?
- How likely is it that the aneurysm/AVM/Hemorrhagic Stroke will come back at some time in the future?
- What are the risks and benefits of this operation/procedure?
- What are the likely long-term effects of this operation?
- How can I best prepare myself for this operation?
- When I wake up, will I be in intensive care?
- How long do you expect me to be unconscious after surgery?
- What are the possible complications of this type of operation/procedure?
- What will happen if I don’t have surgery?
- Is there any other type of treatment I could have?
- How long will it take me to get over this operation?
- How can I help myself recover?
- Who will speak to my family after the surgery?
- What kind of timeframe am I looking after for total recovery?
- Is complete recovery possible?
Please note: This list it is not meant to be all-inclusive, rather a guideline to get you to think about the things that you might want to discuss with your doctor. All cases are unique, so some of these questions may not apply to your case, and you may want to add some additional questions as well. You may want to talk with your doctor about what you need to do to designate a health care proxy – someone to make decisions for you when you are unable. Also, be sure your file has emergency names and contact phone numbers.