View Full Version : Second opinions

10-02-2005, 05:25 PM
I am wondering about a second opinion. Actually I feel as though I got one through my Dr. but wonder if others agree. My Dr. met with a spine/scoliosis specialist from Dublin (one of only five there.) whom was here and took my before and current x-rays whith him to discuss my case. My Dr. said they were in agreement on my case. My Dr. has excellent training and reputation. I've been told I am lucky to have found him, as he just relocated to our town and isn't scheduled out for months. Get this, I can get him on the phone for Questions!! So, here are my questions...If you did go for a 2nd or 3rd opinion, did you feel all the Drs. were diagnosing the same? And also suggesting the same type of correction? I know some search for a Dr. with better a bedside manner, but mine is great.

10-02-2005, 06:33 PM
Hi Suzy...

I don't think a second opinion is always necessary if one is confident in their surgeon's ability. The only think I'd recommend is to be certain that your doctor does a large number of scoliosis surgeries (at least 2-3 per month). Don't just take the surgeon's word for it. See if you can verify that s/he does a lot of scoliosis surgeries. Ask for the names and phone numbers of patients who had surgery similar to what is recommended in your case. Call those patients and talk to them about their experience.


10-03-2005, 06:34 AM
For such a major surgery we thought it would be prudent to get at least a second opinion. We had assumed that the second and third opinions would concur with the first, and our choice of a doctor would be based on tangibles and not on actual methods. As we sought more opinions, we were quite surprised by the differences between the recommended surgical procedure specifics. As an example we listed the reccomendations of two renowned doctors for a 1AN Lenke curve measuring 58 degrees from T5 to T12:

Dr. Betz, Shriner’s, Philadelphia; fuse T2 to L3; all pedicle screw construct (28 screws); titanium rods; allograft (freeze dried donor bone).

Dr. Boachie, HSS, New York; fuse T4 to L1; hybrid construct using pedicle screws (about 2 to 4 screws) at bottom, hooks at the top, and wire in the middle; titanium rods; autograft from ribs; 4 to 5 rib thoracoplasty.

Hopefully this information will show the benefits of seeking multiple opinions in order to feel confident of one’s decision.

Don't be shy, call the references.

10-03-2005, 08:32 AM
Well - Upon hearing that my back was "acting up", my family physician sent me to a DO in osteopathic manilpulation. (I thought that was a little sketchy) Se told me that of course the surgeons are going to recommend surgery. She suggested waiting and focus on pain managment and exercising. I went to a specialist in scolioisis surgery for a second opinion. He said surgery was recommended, sooner than later. Because it is such a major deal, and different courses and timing of treatment offered that I could pursue, I want to hear as many different people give input as possible. I feel the more informed I am, the better choice I can make. I am getting a second surgical opinion on Thursday, and a third on October 26. I'll go from there.

(BTW - the first surgical Dr. I saw, I trust and enjoyed his demeanor. I thought about just stopping at that and move forward with him. But then I thought, I don't want to have any regrets, or take any chances, and thought I would seek alternate opinions, just to make myself feel like I was doing all I could, and playing an active role in the decision making process.)