If you need surgery to repair a brain aneurysm, you’ll want a highly qualified neurosurgeon or neuroradiologist to perform the procedure. How do you find the best doctor who is right for you? Here are important factors to keep in mind. Top Things to Look For Find a neurosurgeon or neuroradiologist who: Is board certified and who specializes in brain aneurysm repair Has experience treating patients with your specific condition Practices at a hospital known to have high-quality outcomes in brain aneurysm repair or neurosurgery in general Accepts your insurance You are comfortable talking with and who fully answers your questions Here are five steps to finding the best doctor to perform your surgery. 1. Ask Around Start by creating a list of potential neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists. Other types of specialists who may brain aneurysms include neurological interventional radiologists and endovascular neurosurgeons. Ask your family, friends, and other healthcare providers for recommendations. If you’re starting without any referrals, or you’re looking for more options, search for neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists on Healthgrades.com. Healthgrades.com shows patient satisfaction ratings, which give you insight into how your own experience might be with the doctor. Patients rate the doctor and the doctor’s medical practice, and say if they would recommend the doctor to family and friends. 2. Research Credentials and Experience Take time to research the doctors’ credentials and experience. Look for a doctor who is board certified in his or her specialty and repairs brain aneurysms on a regular basis. The more experience a doctor has performing brain aneurysm repair, the better prepared he or she is to anticipate and prevent complications. Also, confirm that the doctor is in good standing with state and federal agencies and that he or she has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. You’ll find all this information on Healthgrades.com. 3. Examine Hospital Performance Neurosurgery requires a team of highly skilled and experienced healthcare professionals. For this reason, you should also consider the overall quality of neurosurgical care at the hospital where the doctor practices. Find out where the doctors on your list can treat patients; then research those hospitals on Healthgrades.com. Healthgrades evaluates hospitals on mortality and complication rates of patients while in the hospital for a range of common procedures, including neurosurgery. Ideally you should find a hospital in your area that performs better than expected (5-stars) for neurosurgery. Then, find a doctor who can admit and treat patients at this hospital. Avoid hospitals with lower than expected (1 star) results. If a particular hospital falls short in quality, determine if the doctor also operates at a different facility. Otherwise, find a doctor who treats patients at a hospital likely to offer you the best possible outcome: a Healthgrades rating of 5-stars in neurosurgery. 4. Interview the Doctor As you narrow down your list of doctors, call each doctor’s office and ask for a consult appointment to meet and interview the doctor. Ask yourself if you are comfortable talking with the doctor. Does he or she respect your opinions and answer your questions in a way you understand? Here are some questions to ask the doctor: Do you typically treat patients like me? How many brain aneurysm repairs have you performed? What results do you usually see? Do you have outcomes data to share? How frequently do you encounter complications from the surgery? What do you do to avoid complications or correct them if they occur? 5. Determine Your Insurance Benefit Your insurance coverage is a practical matter. To receive the most insurance benefits and pay the least out-of-pocket for your surgery, you need to choose a doctor that participates in your plan. But keep in mind, just because a doctor participates in your insurance plan doesn’t mean he or she is a high-quality doctor. You still need to consider the doctor’s experience and expertise.