Neuro-oncology and skull-base surgery program

The Patient Experience Initial Consultation

Normally, a referral for neurosurgical consultation is requested after a patient has already been given the diagnosis of a brain or spinal tumor. The patient's internist or general medical physician often provide useful preliminary information drawn from the radiologist's reading of imaging studies. A neurosurgical consultation, however, is necessary to provide a more detailed analysis of the nature of the tumor and to design a universal treatment plan. Although this time may be characterized by anxiety and apprehension, a prompt appointment providing thoughtful consideration, insight and reassurance may allay at least a portion of this concern. A patient liaison at NJBSC will make every effort to expedite a consultation. Patients will be best served by providing existing imaging studies, reports and relevant medical records.

During the initial visit, a detailed medical history, neurological examination and an analysis of laboratory tests and imaging will be performed. The attending neurosurgeon will personally review imaging studies with the patient and family and outline a treatment plan in an unhurried and calming environment. Since there is great variability in the nature and biology of tumors of the central nervous system, recommendations may include merely observing the tumor with serial imaging studies, medical management, radiation therapy, radiosurgery, surgical intervention or a combination thereof. Since neurosurgeons frequently work collaboratively with other physicians and surgeons in treating more complicated conditions, referrals to other specialists may also be recommended. Finally, it may be necessary to obtain additional more specialized imaging studies or laboratory testing to further characterize the patient's condition.