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Neurosurgery Three Times Over: A Psychiatrist's Insider Perspective

Schwartz, Lee MD

doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31820185bd
Special Article

The author, a practicing psychiatrist, describes his own experience in becoming a neurosurgical patient, three times in quick succession, for a recurring subdural hematoma. In addition to a brief review of the literature, he observes his own experience, including reaction to the diagnosis and to the surgical, postsurgical, and intensive-care experience. Suggestions are made to neurosurgeons and their staff to help patients during this experience and in recovery, from the vantage point of a psychiatrist who specializes in dealing with psychological issues arising from illness.

Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois

Received, January 31, 2010.

Accepted, June 7, 2010.

Correspondence: Lee Schwartz, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Science, Northwestern University Medical School, 150 E. Huron – Suite 1226, Chicago, IL 60611. E-mail:

Copyright © by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons