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SECOND OPINIONS

SECOND OPINIONS… When should you consider seeking a second opinion about a pending surgery or perhaps an unexpected outcome from a prior procedure?

The decision to pursue or not to pursue surgery can be very difficult.  For those who have never had surgery it is often associated with a lot of anxiety. Except in cases of emergency it should always be a deliberative and educated decision.  A patient needs to be comfortable with the purpose and expectations of the surgery.  They should also be equally content when surgery is not felt to be the best option.

In this day of readily accessible information and online opinions about health issues it is not that uncommon for a patient and a treating physician to reach different conclusions about the most appropriate treatment or surgical options for any particular complaint.  When this happens who is right?  Logic would dictate that a treating physician with many years of experience and insight should  choose the most appropriate course of action. The problem with that conclusion is that surgery involves procedures that often can not be “undone” or “reversed” and no patient should  undergo a therapy that they either do not feel comfortable about or in most cases don’t understand completely.

In many cases the impasse  between doctor and patient are the result of poor communication and not bad decisions or judgement.  Perhaps the Doctor/patient is predisposed to reject one line of therapy due to prior experience or “what someone they know” told them.  These hidden agendas make it difficult on both Doctors and patients to communicate with each other.

The key is communication.  A “second opinion” should really be a fresh discussion about the medical issues and solutions. It is NOT meant to prove that the original physician was WRONG.  In fact in many cases it will help to reenforce the original treatment plan which should give the patient more confidence going forward.

From time to time a different therapy/plan/surgery may be offered.  Surgeons have many things in common in our education but our training and  practical experiences are different because we see a wide variety of patients and train under different mentors.  Consequently the treatment plans that we offer are not always going to be mirror images.

We are happy to review anyone’s situation for a second opinion.  In fact we do it all the time.  We will need to gather as much of the objective data that is available for your case.  Basically, although you may be able to explain a lot of your case and situation to us I also need to review your test results, office notes and Xray data to make a reasonable conclusion on your particular situation. Therefore my office staff will need you to tell us where to find these bits of information so that when you arrive in our office it will be a productive meeting.

The decision to pursue or not to pursue surgery can be very difficult.  For those who have never had surgery it is often associated with a lot of anxiety. Except in cases of emergency it should always be a deliberated and educated decision.  A patient needs to be comfortable with the purpose and expectations of the surgery.  They should also be equally content when surgery is not felt to be the best option.

In this day of readily accessible information and online opinions about health issues it is not that uncommon for a patient and a treating physician to reach different conclusions about the most appropriate treatment or surgical options for any particular complaint.  When this happens who is right?  Logic would dictate that a treating physician with many years of experience and insight should  choose the most appropriate course of action. The problem with that conclusion is that surgery involves procedures that often can not be “undone” or “reversed” and no patient should  undergo a therapy that they either do not feel comfortable about or in most cases don’t understand completely.

In many cases the impasse  between doctor and patient are the result of poor communication and not bad decisions or judgement.  Perhaps the Doctor/patient is predisposed to reject one line of therapy due to prior experience or “what someone they know” told them.  These hidden agendas make it difficult on both Doctors and patients to communicate with each other.

The key is communication.  A “second opinion” should really be a fresh discussion about the medical issues and solutions. It is NOT meant to prove that the original physician was WRONG.  In fact in many cases it will help to reenforce the original treatment plan which should give the patient more confidence going forward.

From time to time a different therapy/plan/surgery may be offered.  Surgeons have many things in common in our education but our training and  practical experiences are different because we see a wide variety of patients and train under different mentors.  Consequently the treatment plans that we offer are not always going to be mirror images.

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Second Opinions

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