Before Brain Tumor Surgery

Before Brain Tumor Surgery Questions

  Download Key Questions for Before Brain Tumor Surgery (PDF)

Before Brain Tumor Surgery Key Questions:

For your hospital care team

  • How aggressive is my tumor’s growth?
  • What parts of my brain are currently affected by my tumor and what areas are at risk if my tumor continues to grow?
  • What centers specialize in the type of tumor I have?
  • Can a genetic study of my tumor tissue be conducted? Where can this be done?
  • Will a member of my care team reach out to certain specialists on my behalf about my case?
  • Is it safe to delay surgery to pursue a specialist?
  • Are there clinical trials that I might qualify for that require specific surgical procedures?
  • What clinical trials will no longer be available to me once surgery is performed?
  • Should I prepare a living will, power of attorney and healthcare proxy? How do I go about doing this?
  • Can I have a sample of my tumor tissue frozen for any future clinical trial or treatment opportunities?
  • Can a sample of my tumor tissue be sent for research? What research programs would benefit from my tumor sample?


Brain tumor surgery is a critical first step in many patient treatment plans. Yet, most people don’t know about surgery options, types of surgery, which parts of your medical team will be performing surgery, and many other issues that you need to understand fully before making your treatment decisions.

When considering your neuro-surgeon

  • How many surgeries have you performed on people with this tumor type and/or location?
  • How will you protect against damage to the brain?
  • Will I be awake or asleep during surgery? If I will be awake, can you explain that process? What are the risks and benefits?
  • How will tumor location affect my outcome and your strategy?
  • What are the risks and benefits of surgery for me?
  • Will I experience different symptoms or cognitive problems after surgery?
  • Where and how big will the incision be? Will you have to shave my head?
  • How long will I be hospitalized after surgery?