Second opinions and trusting your dr

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 5/5/2011 5:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm always reading about people wanting or recommending second opinions, especially when it comes to a procedure or surgery. I do NOT want to be rude and I hope no one takes it that way. I just wanted to say that for me, especially like for a surgery, I see a colon and rectal surgeon that joined the surgical practice I was already at and he came from Mayo Clinic, really large practice. At first he planned on just coming for two weeks to sort of consult on tough cases but liked it in the area so he stayed and all of the original 5 surgeons that were there agreed that I would be the first patient to see him but once he stayed I was sort of transfered from my general surgeon to the new colorectal surgeon.

Point is I trusted my general surgeon, and I trust my colo-rectal surgeon what he recommends I usually will go along with. Now that isn't to say I'm a push over, but I do my research and it just tends to be that I agree with him. And I trust him with my life. If I didn't trust my surgeon with my life I wouldn't go under the knife for a hemmeriod more or less to have intestines removed or abcesses or whatever it may be.

Does anyone else see it the way I see it? Like I said I dont want to be rude and diminish anyone wanting to get a second opinion. It almost seems if you want a second opinion then odds are you didn't like the first one you got and might be searching for something you approve of, not necessarily what is best. I may be completely wrong and I don't want to lump people into a group and stereotype either.

Thank you for listening and I look forward to hearing your responses.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 5/5/2011 6:16 AM (GMT -6)   
IMHO seeking a 2nd opinion is not so much a matter of trust as it is one of validation. When going in for surgery, especially surgery that carries with it "above average" risks many people would like to have more than one doctor and/or surgeon come to the same, independent conclusion that yes this is what is wrong, that yes surgery is needed, and yes the type of surgery that is suggested is the best way to go.

On something fairly minor like having your tonsils or appendix removed I wouldn't seek a 2nd opinion as long as I did trust the doctor who made the DX, but when it comes to something like back/spine surgery, brain surgery, open heart surgery, etc I would seek another opinion if there was time.

Doctors are only human and being human means they can and will at some point make mistakes in judgment. Also with the rate advances are made in medicine it is nearly impossible for all doctors to remain totally current on all treatments.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Betsey Ross
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Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1056
   Posted 5/5/2011 6:19 AM (GMT -6)   
since my ortho trauma surgeon wont remove my hardware in my tibia until july eventho I am alergic to the metal which is causing me tremendous pain, I have had several ppl tell me that I should get a second opinion. Well it isnt that easy especially when I am working with workmans comp. The rep from W/C has to be notified of the change in physicians and then she has to approve the change. There is no guarantee that she will approve it. Everything isnt that easy when U have a work related injury. It is important to trust your doctors, I think it helps with the healing process when you place your trust and life in a good goctors hands.

Be strong and good luck at your doctors visit today
crushed lower knee and vertical fx of yibia/external fixator placed/plates and screws and tried to place big pieces of cartiledge under knee cap/tremendous pain in affected legcontinously without improving/allergic to metal in left leg/leg isnt straight/need metal removed in July/wait 6 months for healing/then toatal knee replacement/straighten out leg/more phsyxical therapy/take opana er

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 5/5/2011 7:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I hate dealing with WC and "their" doctors. It is like rubbing salt in an open wound.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 5/5/2011 8:34 AM (GMT -6)   
    Jim, I thought you made a very good point right off the bat in your reply. As far a trust with a surgeon, well how can one come to that conclusion after a 30min consult? Most of my trust is built before I ever meet the surgeon, because I trust the one who sent me to him. (My PCD)
       I also have found that nurses can be another good source of information when your looking for an second opinion. Many times I have dropped a name of a surgeon to several nurses, and you will know by their reaction whether or not you are dealing with a respected surgeon within the medical community. I think the respect or at least part of it comes from their succes rate.
        I do, think that one should have a good trust with their PCd because they usually are the one who sends you off in different directions for various reasons. If you lack trust with them, then I myself, would seek another one.
      And then finally some food for thought!...What do they call an Intern who finished last in his class with the lowest possible passing grade? Well!....they still call him "Doctor" shocked   So do you're homework! wink
       Good topic and many good comments! Thanks!
    SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!
"When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends."

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 5/5/2011 7:41:10 AM (GMT-6)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16775
   Posted 5/5/2011 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I have to agree with Jim on not every surgery I would or have had I felt I needed a 2nd opinion. It really depends on the particular surgery in question. I have had a lot surgeries and on some I did get a 2nd opinion, others I did not.

CrohnsPatient you will see a lot of us suggest seeking care with another dr especially when it comes to PM. That is one field where not all are created equal thats for sure. I have seen that first hand here at the forum what some of the members have gone through with PM drs. It is a field that really needs to be cleaned up in many areas and I am not speaking of the pill mill drs either.

Sad but true a lot of us have had some really bad experiences with drs and that can sure jade your way of thinking.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 5/5/2011 4:34 PM (GMT -6)   
straydog I totally understand what you mean about PM. I've had doctors that I went to once and never went back just because of the way they acted towards me. One doctor I only went to because my pain management doctor had recieved a teaching position at yale university in pain mangement and anastesia so ihad to look. there arent many in my area anyways even tho my region has almost 8 million people. so iwent to this doctor and was telling him something about my gi and was saying something about i had called the GI for something I dont remember what this was years ago... and I mentioned that my GI called me back and the pain doctor INTERUPTED me to say 'you mean his nurse called you back' and I said nooo my GI called me back he calls me back personally all the time. And he kept at it that no it must've been my GI's nurse because my GI himself would not call me back, he did everything but call me a liar to my face. Well needless to say I never went back to him after that first visit. Might seem like something dumb to not go back to him over but to me that was setting the tone for what was to come. And to just flat out not believe me when he didn't even know me for 15 minutes yet is just disrespectful in my eyes.

What's everyone think about this encounter I had with this pain management doctor. May I also add that he was a 'physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor' and I've seen 2 or 3 in my time of searching for new pain doctors when mine leave the area and move on.. and in my experience their not as willing to prescribe the doses or levels as other doctors are, especially anastesiologists. Which in my opinion happen to be the best pain management doctors you could possibly run across... in general terms. Because they obviously know their medications when it comes to pain medication and sedation and such because thats their job...pain and sedation like during surgery...granted they also are in charge if sometihng goes wrong such as a heart attack during surgery but their daily routine is medication management when it comes to pain and sedation. So they tend to not be as 'scared' or whateever you want to call it when it comes to narcotics.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 5/5/2011 5:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't want to be rude either, however after eleven surgeries in my right knee, and several other surgical experiences I would not settle for a second opinion, I would want a third and fourth.
My local orthopedic surgeon, an excellent doctor with a sterling reputaion suggested a complete revision.  A major surgery with a full year of recovery.  So there I went.  I have gone to John Hopkins, To Georgetown University Hospital To the University of Pittsburgh Hospita, and to tthe University of Virginia Medical College.
I know full hand what is meant when medicine and surgery are sometimes called an art as much as a science.
Four top doctors have come up with TWO conflicting opinions.  Two say the surgery and long recovery will give me my life back, two say they would never do any more surgery on me.
My pain management doctors see things totally differently from their bias, as does my family doctor.
What I am saying is the I feel until you have spoken to as many doctors as you can, use their opinions to follow up with your own research, (NOT WEB MD JUNK) read scholarly journals for the specific specialty and they pray a bit, you will not get the full range of optiuons.
When I though that the only option I had was a life of pain or major debilitating surgery one doctor mentioned a totally different option.
He had just returned from a seminar in Dubai, United Arab Emrites, and learned about a new procedure, done by plastic surgeons, but aimed at the relief of chronic knee pain.'
Back to the drawing board.  I located only four doctors in the U.S. who perform this surgery, which is done under local anesthesia and where you walk out of the hospital, pain free the same day.  It is knee denervation surgery, where the nerves that transmit the pain are simply removed from the joint.
What I am getting at is that with modern medicine there are so many options that no single doctor or no single specialty can keep up with everything.  The doctors retreit to their comfort zones like everyone else.
When I mentioned this new surgery to top University orthopedic surgeons they had no idea about it//why,  because it is done only by plastic surgeons,  if it were not for a casual remark by one physician I would never have known of this exciting option and I will be flying from my home near Washington DC to Boston to see a doctor who does this surgery shortly.
Yes you have to trust your doctor, but you also have to realize one or two people cannot know every medical option out there.
Good luck and God Speed.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 5/5/2011 6:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a great team of drs right now. But I see them as human people who happeen to have a job that allows them to be current on particular topics. Also their treatment style will come into play. I have in total 7 regular dr/psy. I have had 2 rheumatologists and plan to see a third for a discussion on further treatment options.
Why did I leave the first rheumy? Not that she was a bad Dr, in fact under other conditions I really like her and reccomend her to others. It's just that she is careful with introducing new medications and slow on increasing treatments levels, giving each level a good chance to work. She gave innfalmation releaf with prednisone. Since I am bipolar it messed me up pretty good. I tried to explain to her that I would like to move faster and get to treatment levels faster- even if we aren't quite as careful- I felt that we were doing more harm to me with the bipolar instability. I needed to find a medication amout and try to stick to it so the bipolar didn't kill me. She didn't get it, I moved on.
My 2nd rheumy was quite good at bringing me up to the next stage of treatment, but no further. If I asked about testing to for the Rf, he would ask me- did I want to get off the meds? Will I be better on or off? Then I have RA. No further tests. No images. He would lightly touch the place on my fingers at the side of each joint, "Does that hurt when I touch? No? See you in 6 months. What, you have pain? You'll get used to that." End of visit. Another time "you have pain where? That's not a joint. That's not RA. I could shoot it with cortisone, but the injection hurts. No? Ok." End of visit. I asked about biologics. He says that they won't work any better than what I'm no now and they're expensive. Come back in 6 months. End of visit.
You have served your purpose. Next rheumy on the list, please!
My psychologist would not be able to medicate my bipolar, but her purpose is talk therapy. My psychiratisit doesn't talk much, but she is well respected and has EARNED my trust by being correct when I did trust her. Sometimes it took her months of telling me something for me to try it out, but as she has earned more trust it takes me less time to be convinced. Sometimes I can read how I am doing on her face when we are talking.
My pu****logist thinks the CPAP will cure the bipolar and sometime soon I can get off that treatment. I trust him to make me breathe better, and sleep will make me more stable, but it will not cure me. If I trusted him to that degree I could get in real trouble. He serves his purpose, but no further.
Treatments: gluten-free diet, Cpap
Medications: omeprazole, probiotic caps; multi-vitamin supplement; docusate sodium, fiber chews; zertec, ferrous sulfate, cymbalta, lamotrigine, ambien, alprazolam, plaquinil, sulfasalazine, methotrexate, leucovorin calicium, folic acid, motrin, tramadol, pennsaid, aspercream, nasonex, albuterol sulfate inhaler

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 5/5/2011 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   
violadagamba.... You said you went to the 'University of Virginia Medical college' But I think your confusing two different in charllotesville thats University of Virginia Medical School/health system, and what USED TO BE CALLED 'Medical college of Virginia or MCV in Richmond' But they've changed their name and are now instead of MCV or medical college of Virginia they are VCU Medical Center... Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center'

The reason I bring it up is I go to Medical college or virginia which like I said is now Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond and I love the place, so is that where you went or is it the University of Virginia in Charllotesville virginia and not Richmond virginia?

If your near DC, then you have a lot of access to great medical schools, George washington university, Georgetown university, Howad University, and many others right there in DC, theres also Inova a massive university affiliated hospital in Fairfax virginia which is really close to DC...what we in virginia call 'northern Virginia' which is basically the suburbs of washington dc and any surrounding areas. like where most of the senators and representatives live.
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