Pituitary Innovation and Teaching

What happens before surgery?

Video transcript

Speaker: Dr. Michael Cusimano

We’ll have them fill out the routine administrative questionnaires and things that we do and then you’ll come in to see the doctor. If you’ve had an MRI done at another hospital, its best to have an MRI loaded into the hospital computer network before hand and so it will make things more efficient. This can be done on the third floor in the film library of the radiology department. They’ll ask you for your hospital identification number.

When you come in to see the doctor you may see a resident or fellow before seeing the neurosurgeon or the endocrinologist. These are doctors in training who will take a history that is the story - your story - or history of your medical illnesses and specifically about this particular condition and then a physical examination will be done. Your various tests, like your MRI, CAT scan, blood tests and visual tests will be reviewed and then a series of questions will be going back and forth between the doctors and the patient and their family or friends.

We’ll usually be able to come up with what’s called a working diagnosis which is the provisional diagnosis which the doctors will work with from that point forward. That diagnosis may change as more information is gathered, but based on that diagnosis a series options for treatment with then be discussed - both in terms of the goals of those various options, potential benefits and the potential risks.

A recommendation will be made in general to the patient. The patient will be given usually time to think about the diagnosis, to think about the various options and to come to a decision. Now, many patients will have already decided by the time they come because they will already have seen several specialists before they get to us and that’s perfectly acceptable as well. But very often we’ll give information and people will have some time to think about it.


Page last updated: June 3, 2016