Whether you have musculoskeletal pain or other chronic conditions, you want a solution to restore your lifestyle. When your doctor recommends surgery, it’s natural to stop and consider if the procedure is the best option possible. Surgery requires a significant time and financial commitment, and you want to make sure your outcome is worth this investment.
A surgical second opinion can help confirm your surgery decision or provide a more appropriate alternative. In this guide, we’ll discuss when and how you might seek a second consultation before having surgery.
Regardless of the surgery you’re considering, getting a second opinion can help you ensure whether a specific procedure is right for your condition. Even if you feel good about what your surgeon suggests, a second opinion can help you to feel informed and confident about your decision.
Other indicators that you should get a second opinion include:
When you’ve decided to pursue a second opinion, you’ll need to find another physician to talk to. Your initial surgeon may have recommendations for other professionals, or you can conduct research online. After you’ve found an individual you want to meet, you can take the following steps:
You may have additional uncertainties about getting a surgical second opinion. The following questions provide information you may find valuable before seeking a second consultation:
A second opinion isn’t required, but it is considered good medical practice. The only time a second opinion is not advised is if you or another individual require life-saving emergency surgery.
Many doctors encourage second opinions, as they can help confirm a crucial diagnosis. It is unprofessional for your doctor or surgeon to feel offended if you ask for a second opinion. You have a right to consider your options for any big decision, including surgery.
When you meet with a second surgeon, consider asking the following questions:
Be sure to include any other unanswered questions you have about the procedure, technique or your options.
Many insurance policies will pay for a second opinion, and some may even require it. If you have Medicare Part B, your coverage should help pay for a second opinion for medically necessary surgeries. Check with your insurance to see what your policy requires and covers.
Second opinions are valuable, but they may be misconstrued by the following myths:
There are a few ways to find candidates for your second opinion consultation. If you trust your initial surgeon and want a second opinion as a precaution, you can ask them for surgeon recommendations. You are not obligated to take these suggestions, but they may be a helpful starting point.
You can narrow down any online research by finding surgeons that accept your insurance first. Be sure to search for each candidate on your state’s medical board website. These sites should show any disciplinary action or licensing red flags for the candidates to help narrow the pool further.
If possible, it can be beneficial to get personal surgeon recommendations from individuals who have had the same procedure you’re considering. Talking to others to hear about their experience can be a great way to feel confident in your decision to meet with a particular surgeon.
When you’re not sure if surgery is right for you, NJ Spine and Wellness can help. We are committed to helping you treat your musculoskeletal pain and can assist you with choosing from a variety of conservative, non-surgical methods. Our team of professionals can create an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to your specific goals and expectations. Our multidisciplinary team also includes specialty surgeons who are available for first or second opinions on a variety of surgical treatments, from spinal surgery to shoulder, knee, foot or ankle surgery.
We care about providing the options you desire, and our program can give you peace of mind about choosing surgery after targeted non-surgical intervention. For more information about how you can get better faster, book an appointment today.