Getting a Second Opinion

11/23/2013

Getting a second opinion is standard medical practice these days. There are millions of surgical procedures performed in the United States every year and the majority of these operations are necessary for the health and well being of the patient. But, according to recent studies, a percentage of surgeries may be unnecessary.

Many people are now seeking second opinions, especially when it comes to elective surgery procedures. Also some insurance companies are encouraging second opinions for surgical procedures and more people than ever are beginning to take an active role in their health care options.

Based on all of the surgeries performed, one can conclude that overall we have a good system. However, we still hear of horror stories and botched operations from time to time, both in this country and around the world.

A second medical opinion can save you time and money, and it is possible that the condition in question can be treated by means other than surgery. Your doctor's approach to treating your condition is influenced by his training, experience, and exposure to new techniques. Getting a second opinion is standard medical practice, and you will find that most physicians welcome second and even third opinions. You can be candid and open with your physician about this as you tell him your feelings and how much more comfortable you'd feel getting another doctor's opinion.

If you decide to get a second medical opinion on a surgical procedure, you may wish to ask your doctor to refer a colleague or specialist. If you'd rather seek out another doctor yourself, you can take the matter up with your local medical society or area medical school.

When you go to a second doctor, tell him or her the name of the recommended surgical procedure and do over the various tests you have already had. This can save you the unnecessary expense of running duplicate medical tests. If the second doctor agrees that the surgery is necessary, he or she will usually send you back to the first doctor.

If you make the decision to have the recommended surgery, there are a number of questions you may like to have answered such as from what medical school did the surgeon graduate, and in what specialty did the surgeon complete an accredited residency program. You might also want to inquire as to how many operations like yours the particular surgeon has performed and how many of those patients have required additional surgery.

A good indicator of a surgeon's competence is certification by the American Board of Medical Specialties. The letters F.A.C.S. (Fellow of the American College of Surgeons) after the surgeon's name is another sign of a surgeon's qualifications.

Once you are comfortable with your choice of a surgeon, find out what your options are. Ask about possible risks, complications and side effects, and the length of the recovery period. Talk to others who have had the same procedure. Also, don't forget to check with your insurance company to learn if the surgical procedure is covered under your policy, and if so, whether it is covered as in-patient or out-patient surgery. Remember, you deserve to be informed of all your health care options, especially when it involves a surgical procedure.

Related Articles

Helping Your Child Be Healthy and Fit

11/19/2013

Long-term good health is less an accident than the result of good habits and wise choices.

The Radon Problem

11/23/2013

You can't see radon. And you can't smell or taste it, but it may very well be a problem in your home. It is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year.

Exercise Melts Body Fat

11/23/2013

If you want to reduce your body fat, focus on increasing the amount of exercise you get rather than decreasing your food intake. A recent national study was done using two groups of sedentary men, one group in their 20's and the other over age 65.

Conquering the Smoking Habit

11/23/2013

Most smokers sincerely want to quit. They know cigarettes threaten their health, set a bad example for their children, annoy their acquaintances and cost an inordinate amount of money.

Handy First Aid Tips

11/23/2013

When someone is injured or suddenly becomes ill, there is usually a critical period before you can get medical treatment and it is this period that is of the utmost importance to the victim.

Ulcers Are No Laughing Matter

11/23/2013

Peptic ulcers, which are in the stomach and the duodenum (the first part of the intestine leading from the stomach) can occur at any age and affect both men and women. Untreated, sufferers can look forward to a long siege with them.

New Therapy for Heart Attacks

11/23/2013

New drugs can stop or limit the damage of a heart attack, but only if the patient gets help immediately, experts say. Once the flow of blood to a portion of the heart is blocked for several hours, the damage is irreversible.

Lead Can Be Dangerous

11/24/2013

Lead has long been recognized as a harmful environmental pollutant. There are many ways in which humans are exposed to lead and most of the time we may not even be aware of it.

Aids and Drug Abuse

11/23/2013

The two groups at greatest risk for AIDS are homosexual or bisexual men and people who shoot drugs.

Hay Fever, Allergy and Asthma

11/23/2013

Hay fever is a chronic condition characterized by sneezing, nasal congestion, runny and itching nose, palate, ears and eyes.

Terms of Use

All content provided on this website is for general informational purposes only. No warranty is expressed or implied. Your use of this website is subject to our Terms of Use.