5 Reasons to Seek a Second Opinion
Before having surgery, it can be very important to seek a second opinion, and this can be especially true for a hysterectomy. There are approximately 500,000 hysterectomies performed every year in the United States, many of which may be unnecessary. Seeking a second opinion is one way women can discover less invasive treatment options, besides a hysterectomy, to treat their gynecologic issues.
If you are dealing with a gynecologic concern for which you are considering a hysterectomy, consider these 5 reasons for seeking a second opinion before you head into the operating room:
1. Not all surgeons have the same skills and experience.
Each surgeon is a unique individual just as you are. Thus, skills, experience, and training can vary from surgeon to surgeon and affect diagnosis and treatment plans. If you seek the opinion of more than one physician, you will have the benefit of a wider variety of education and experience. In addition, another surgeon may have more extensive skills that can open the door for better surgical techniques for your situation. If your surgeon only offers you a traditional surgical option such as an abdominal hysterectomy, it is especially important to seek a second opinion. Today, many surgeons are able to perform some type of minimally invasive surgery which can offer many benefits such as quicker healing and reduced recovery time.
2. Not all surgeons have access to the same technology and equipment.
Each physician and medical facility has its own equipment and technology which can affect diagnosis and treatment options. Seeking an opinion from another physician may give you access to additional equipment and technology which can help ensure you have an accurate diagnosis as well as offer you innovative treatment options. Newer equipment may allow you the option of choosing a minimally invasive surgeryoption rather than an open incision.
3. Treatment recommendations can vary.
Even for the same diagnosis, doctors may have different opinions regarding treatment. Some physicians prefer to treat more aggressively and may be more quick to recommend surgery, while others choose to follow a more conservative approach and may recommend a wait and see approaches as long as possible. Having more than one opinion can help you decide which of those plans may be best for you.
4. Not all surgeons are right for all patients.
Besides surgical skill, it is important to have a surgeon who will work with you both pre and post-hysterectomy. Whenever possible, you want a surgeon and staff with whom you are compatible and who will be open to answering your questions and easing your mind. If anxiety or complications arise, you want a surgeon you will be comfortable contacting and one who will reply quickly and helpfully. Seeking a second opinion can help you choose a surgeon who is right for you inside and outside the operating room.
5. Having a second opinion can give you peace of mind.
If you seek a second opinion and the advice is very similar to your first opinion, you can be more assured that you are making the best decision for you. Knowing more than one physician agrees with your diagnosis and treatment plan can help ease the fears and anxiety that can occupy a hysterectomy.
Though you may be concerned about offending your current gynecologist, don’t be. A good physician should not be offended by a second opinion, and, in fact, should encourage you to seek one so that you know you are doing what is right for you. Your gynecologist may even suggest other doctors with whom you can consult. What is most important is that you are able to make an informed decision for you and your health.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: 5 Reasons to Seek a Second Opinion