Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the most powerful medical imaging tools ever developed. It is capable of detecting even the subtlest abnormalities in the most delicate parts of the body: the brain and the spinal cord.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a brain or spinal cord tumor, disease, or injury, your neurosurgeon will likely order an MRI to confirm a diagnosis and recommend the appropriate course of treatment.
Here are some questions you can ask your neurosurgeon in case the result shows an abnormality.
Q: When Can We Start Treatment?
Brain lesions are either asymptomatic or are life-threatening. It can be difficult to draw a prognosis, and treatment may involve monitoring the progression of the lesions. If images reveal that the lesions are growing in size or number and you are experiencing attacks, then your neurosurgeon will definitely recommend that you start treatment immediately.
A brain tumor is either benign or malignant, and almost always requires surgery. Both types of tumors can grow, and there is only so much room available inside the skull for a growing tumor. Treatment is usually immediate for a malignant brain tumor—which is potentially life-threatening.
Q: What Type of Treatment Do You Recommend?
When you ask your neurosurgeon about what type of treatment they recommend, you might as well discuss the goals of the treatment, its side effects, and how it will affect your life as a whole as well.
In the case of multiple sclerosis (a potentially disabling condition that affects the central nervous system), there is no cure for it, so the goal is likely to slow the progression of the disease. It is vastly different from the goals for malignant brain tumor surgery, which are to destroy the tumor and to prevent its recurrence.
Q: Are There Other Treatment Options Available?
Whatever treatment your neurosurgeon will recommend, make sure to ask them what it entails and let them know what you think. Feel free to ask whether there are other options available, their pros and cons, and their costs. These will help you make a well-informed decision.
Q: What Is Your Experience in Treating Patients with the Same Condition?
In matters pertaining to both your brain and spinal cord, it’s imperative to choose the best doctor for your treatment. In this context, “best” means highly experienced.
If your MRI result shows a brain tumor, it proves prudent to ascertain that your neurosurgeon has extensive experience treating patients with your specific tumor type and location.
Q: Where Can I Find More Information About My Condition?
The more you know about your condition and treatment options, the more empowered you will be to get involved in your own care.
Apart from providing you with general information about your condition, your neurosurgeon may be able to point you to their website or a scientific journal to expand your knowledge of your condition.
Q: What Type of Changes Do I Need to Make?
Depending on your condition, you may need to make lifestyle, home, and work adjustments and require home assistance throughout your treatment.
Neurosurgeon in Colorado
At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, our board-certified neurosurgeons are dedicated to providing effective, innovative treatment for the full spectrum of conditions—including benign and malignant tumors—that affect the central nervous system. Our providers combine advanced technology with their expertise in order to achieve exceptional treatment outcomes.
To make an appointment with one of our neurosurgeons, call (303) 790-1800 or use our appointment request form.