Although some patients have enough savings to do this without hesitation, most don't have such deep pockets. Make no mistake, finding the absolute best surgeon (and leaving your insurance network to do so) can rack up bills that look like Bill Gates' bank statement.
But whether you're rich or not, always do this research so you at least know your options. What's worth your money (or future debt), only you can say. In the long run, getting the best care is often less expensive than paying to correct the mistakes of less-than-perfect care. When it comes down to it, you might decide that having the absolute best brain surgeon is worth cashing in some of your retirement savings because retirement might be a lot less fun after undergoing sub-par brain surgery.
Find out more about this book:YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment