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Should you get a second opinion before getting surgery?

Surgeries are often highly invasive even when they are necessary. As a patient, finding out that you need surgery may be upsetting to you, and that’s not surprising. Surgery often requires you to be put under general anesthesia, and you have little control over what happens once a surgeon begins.

Sometimes, surgeries aren’t necessary and there are other treatment options that could be tried first. So, should you get a second opinion before you get surgery? The simplest answer is, “yes.”

Why is a second opinion so important?

Many people want to trust what their medical provider suggests for their care, but it’s better to do more research by speaking with a second professional in the same field.

For example, if your medical provider tells you that you need to have an invasive surgery to correct a problem with your knee, it may be worth talking to another orthopedic specialist to see if there are injections or medications that will work in place of major surgery. Sometimes, something as simple as physical therapy is enough to improve your condition to the point that surgery is no longer recommended.

Having two specialists compare notes isn’t a bad idea. If the second specialist agrees, then you know that you’re on the right path to the treatment that you need. If they do not, then they may surprise you with options that you didn’t realize you had.

Doctors and medical providers are all human, and they sometimes make mistakes. For that reason, getting a second opinion is an excellent decision, even if you largely agree with what the original provider suggests for your care. Getting that second opinion could help you avoid an unnecessary surgery or encourage you to get one that will truly help.