The following list of questions for the surgeon may help you with your decision.
How many epilepsy surgeries do you perform each year?
What is the name of the surgery?
What is your experience with performing this type of procedure?
How long have you performed this procedure as lead surgeon?
How many times have you performed this procedure?
How long has this procedure been performed at this hospital?
What part(s) of the brain will be removed? What functions do these parts of the brain control? Are these parts involved in important brain circuits for, for example, speech, vision, or learning to read?
Is there any scientific literature that you can show me to support the decision to operate?
What are the alternatives to performing this surgery? Are there any treatment options that we have not explored?
What will likely happen if we do not move forward with this surgery?
Will my child require a blood transfusion?
May I speak to another family who has undergone this type of procedure at this hospital?
What are the benefits of the surgery and how long will they last?
What are the risks and potential complications of having the surgery?
Specifically, what are the short-term risks (those that occur during and shortly after the procedure such as stroke, infection, bone reabsorption, meningitis) and long term functional risks (such as learning deficits, vision problems, physical impairments)?
What is the incidence of hydrocephalus after this procedure?
Should I get a second opinion? Whom do you recommend?
Where will the surgery take place?
What kind of anesthesia will be administered and who will be the anesthesiologist?
What can I expect during recovery? What are some warning signs?
What is the cost of the procedure? Specifically, what is the:
Billing for other services (anesthesiologist, assisting physicians, other consultants)
What kind of preparation will be required before the surgery? Will there be bloodwork and other tests or special skin preparations required?
How long will we be in the hospital after surgery? Will we stay in PICU and then move to the neurology floor? What will determine when we move to the neurology floor?
What kinds of supports will my child need immediately after surgery?
Will my child be evaluated for physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy while in the hospital?
Will my child require inpatient rehabilitation? What are the pros and cons to inpatient rehabilitation?
Is there a social worker or case manager I can ask for while in the hospital?