Written by: Aaron Cohen-Gadol, MD (BAF Medical Advisory Board Member)
When a patient is diagnosed with a condition such as a brain tumor that requires brain surgery, there is a lot at stake. The stress of the diagnosis, combined with the treatment options, is overwhelming. In addition to these stresses, the patient and his or her family want to find the top neurosurgeon who can do the best job possible. How can the patient and his or her family find the best neurosurgeon for the surgery during these stressful times?
I recommend a second opinion for patients facing a major brain operation with associated risks. The peace of mind that a second opinion provides can be quite comforting and reassuring. However, if the second opinion is different from the first opinion, there is a risk of adding more stress and the need for a third opinion. Most often, the first and second opinions are consistent with each other and the peace of mind from the second opinion is worth the risk.
Peace of mind and the trust between the patient and surgeon are the foundation for the patient to be well prepared for an operation. The patient should believe in his or her surgeon through trust and confidence. The vulnerability of the patient places a significant burden on the surgeon to create this trust.