I know of a neurosurgeon who placed this nice young man, Dr. Swartz, between a rock in and a hard spot when he was asked to call me and answer some of my tough questions. Dr Swartz, during our conversation, showed the upmost professionalism and I came out of my conversation very respectful of him. I continue to hear positive things stated about him- both on the forum and in support group meetings.
One question I suggest you ask of Dr. Swartz is whether or not he uses skull putty (Calcium phosphate) to seal the craniotomy hole surface- or not. I know that one of the neurosurgeons, who he trained with in Oregon, is very big on the â€œskull puttyâ€. I have discovered that neurosurgeons have differences of opinions on this to which, in some, it creates a controversy. For the last 2 years I was feeling bitter that my own neurosurgeon had NOT used the putty and I was left with such a large crater in my skull. I recently asked of Dr. Kazan, at the recent Chicago symposium, why this should not be used. Dr. Kazan, who is older than young Dr. Swartz, gave a very compelling answer to my question- as to why it should NOT be used. The biggest reason being the risk of the substance breaking down with timeâ€¦ and later causing infection as your body attempts to reject it. I came out of Dr. Kazanâ€™s talk with a new found respect for my own neurosurgeon who adamantly would NOT use the skull putty (to which at that time I was unhappy about) and perhaps my bitter taste about â€œthe crater lake in my headâ€ has subdued â€¦now I have a better understanding.
Nevertheless I would still like to know what Dr. Swartz, specifically, thinks of the â€œskull puttyâ€ issue and what his professional opinion is on it - now that he has had even more experience since his earlier training days. I found Dr. Swartz is very good at examining the pros and cons of various methods and approached used in neurosurgery. Dr. Swartzâ€™s phone manner is excellent- from my own personal experience... and believe me I was very stressed out, back then, when he and I spoke. I was still in the "What do I do?" "Where do I go?" stage...
Your conversation, with him, will be more productive if you clearly organize the questions you want to ask of him. Perhaps the "calcium phosphate skull putty" use is a question to ask.
Making "the decision" is a tough one- I know... I was there.
HUGS to you.