PURPOSE: Glioblastoma prognosis is poor. Treatment options are limited at progression. Surgery may benefit, but no quality guidelines exist to inform patient selection. We sought to describe variations in surgical management at progression, highlight where further evidence is needed, and build towards a consensus strategy. METHODS: Current practice in selection of patients with progressive GBM for second surgery was surveyed online amongst specialists in the UK and Europe. We complemented this with an assessment of practice in a retrospective cohort study from six United Kingdom neurosurgical units. We used descriptive statistics to analyse the data. RESULTS: 234 questionnaire responses were received. Maintaining or improving patient quality of life was key to decision making, with variation as to whether patient age, performance status or intended extent of resection was relevant. MGMT methylation status was not important. Half considered no minimum time after first surgery. 288 patients were reported in the cohort analysis. Median time to second surgery from first surgery 390 days. Median overall survival 815 days, with no association between time to second surgery and time to death (p = 0.874). CONCLUSIONS: This is the most wide-ranging examination of contemporaneous practice in management of GBM progression. Without evidence-based guidelines, the variation is unsurprising. We propose consensus guidelines for consideration, to reduce heterogeneity in decision making, support data collection and analysis of factors influencing outcomes, and to inform clinical trials to establish whether second surgery improves patient outcomes, or simply selects to patients already performing well.