Should I Get A Second Opinion Before Spinal Surgery?

Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

spine surgery second opinion

You’ve probably heard the expression “two heads are better than one,” and while it’s often true that two people can typically come up with better solutions to a problem than one person, it’s simply unreasonable to think that you’re always going to get multiple opinions before making every decision. You may ask a co-worker in the breakroom how the cafeteria soup tasted, but you’re not going to take an office-wide poll to determine what you should have for lunch. Most decisions can be made on your own or with input from a trusted source.

However, there are certainly aspects of your life where you should get multiple opinions on the matter. There are three main things that everyone should consider doing extensive research into before they make a decision; purchasing a home, purchasing a vehicle, and undergoing surgery. Today, we’re going to explain why you should consider a second opinion before undergoing a spinal surgery.

Second Spinal Opinion

When it comes to surgery, whether it be on your spine or any area of your body, you’re going to want to do your research and understand what all your options entail. We’re going to stop short of saying you should always get a second opinion before spinal surgery, because quite frankly that isn’t true. If your first consultation is with a skilled spine surgeon who understands your condition and makes you feel at ease when he or she explains your options, you likely don’t need a second opinion. On the other hand, if a general practitioner recommends surgery or you get an unexpected diagnosis from a surgeon, you’ll probably be best off getting a second opinion.

Questions to Ask

The decision to get a second opinion really comes down to your gut, but before you go under the knife based on one recommendation, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I comfortable with this surgeon?
  • Can the surgeon comfortably explain why they want to perform a certain procedure?
  • Do my goals align with the operation and timeline suggested by the surgeon?
  • Are you sure your referral to this doctor was made solely because of your condition, not because of economic interests?

If you answered no to any of these questions, please do yourself a favor and seek out a second opinion. If the surgeon acts offended at your suggestion of weighing your opinions and seeking another opinion, odds are that’s not the surgeon for you. A good spine surgeon understands what’s at stake and will work with you to ensure all your needs are being met. If the surgeon at your initial consultation meets all your needs and you can answer yes to all the above questions, then you may not need a second opinion, but when it comes to your health, never be afraid to seek another opinion.

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