If you are one of the approximately 6 million people in the United States with an unruptured brain aneurysm, your physician may have recommended brain aneurysm clipping as a treatment option. While clipping is used in emergency situations, it is also used as a preventative measure prior to rupture of the blood vessel. Should you elect to have the procedure done, it is worth taking the time to find a neurosurgeon who can provide you with the best care before, during and following your surgery.
Look for a Cerebrovascular Specialist
Just as there are specialists within the general medical field, such as internists, pediatricians and cardiologists, there are also further specializations among surgeons. A cerebrovascular neurosurgeon is a doctor who has completed extra training and works specifically with conditions involving the blood vessels of the brain. They treat conditions such as aneurysms and other blood vessel malformations.
By choosing a cerebrovascular neurosurgeon over a non-specialist, you will be under the care of someone who has chosen to become an expert in the field and has devoted his or her career specifically to conditions of the blood vessels of the brain, such as aneurysms. In general, specialists have extra knowledge, training and experience and, as a result, are better equipped to handle any complications that may arise.
The vessels of the brain are a specialized system, with complex procedures in a sensitive area of the body. If you had a Lamborghini that wasn’t running right, would you take it to the chain-store mechanic or the one specializing in Lamborghinis? Of course, you would entrust it to the mechanic who was an expert in your particular vehicle. Similarly, if you choose to have a brain aneurysm clipping procedure, it makes the most sense to trust an expert with your health.
Find Out What Others Have to Say
It is easier than ever to find out what other people have to say about their experiences with their physicians by looking at online reviews. Take the time to search online for what people are saying, both positive and negative. Chances are you will be able to learn something about a doctor’s interaction with patients, expertise, knowledgeability, willingness to explore treatment options, and other factors that may be important to you personally.
Ask People You Trust
Though it’s easy to search online for reviews, don’t forget to look for recommendations offline, as well. Because brain aneurysms are relatively common, affecting 1 in 50 people in the United States, chances are you know someone with experience themselves or who knows someone who has considered brain aneurysm clipping. Talk to family and friends, as well as your general physician, to see if they can recommend an expert.
What to Look For
You have many choices when looking for a neurosurgeon to perform your procedure. By doing a little research, you will be able to find the most qualified and respected doctors to trust with your health. Brain aneurysm clipping is a delicate procedure in an especially sensitive area, and by finding a neurosurgeon you have faith in, you can alleviate some of the stress that goes with having any medical procedure done.
When choosing your physician, you will likely encounter both individual practices and large group practices made up of surgeons with many particular specialties. Take your time and look at the practice itself to see what the offer. Ideally, you will find an office with multiple specialists who communicate and collaborate to ensure you are being treated by the clinician with the right expertise for your condition, rather than the person who is simply available.
Something else to take into consideration when choosing your neurosurgeon is how up to date he or she is on leading practices and procedures. Every doctor has to take courses each year to maintain licensure, but some make an effort to go beyond simple requirements and engage in research and writing publications to further their knowledge and stay up to date with current science.
Finally, be sure to take the time to find a doctor who puts you, as the patient, first. Different practices have different philosophies. Some operate under a financially driven model, while others are more patient-centric and understand that sometimes surgery is not the right solution for every patient. By finding a practice that respects you as a unique individual, you can rest assured you will receive the treatment most appropriate for your needs.
Making Your Choice
Because you have considered what you are looking for in a neurosurgeon to perform your brain aneurysm clipping, you now have the tools to research and find the doctor who is the best match for you. As an empowered patient, you have the ability to seek out a well-recommended and knowledgeable expert in your exact procedure and be confident in your choice of neurosurgeon. Taking a little time now to find the right doctor or practice is one way to help ease the stress you may be feeling around your medical procedure. Find someone you can trust, and he or she will guide you through the process prior to and after your surgery.