There is just one expert view on second opinion: take it every time you are diagnosed with a serious health condition, particularly those involving the brain or any vital organ.
For long it was pure common sense: If we don’t think twice about seeking a second opinion on a car we wish to buy, then why are we so reluctant to get a fresh pair of eyes to look at a difficult medical diagnosis? Now, there is irrefutable evidence to back the common sense. When in doubt, or if you have been diagnosed with a serious health issue, particularly involving organs like the brain or the heart, then you simply must seek a second opinion. “It is a no-brainer,” say the experts. This is even more so if you suffer from other health issues also known as co-morbidities and a prescribed treatment course is complex, risky or not working.
According to a study conducted by the Rochester, US-based Mayo Clinic, 88 per cent of patients who come to the hospital for second opinions “go home with a new or refined diagnosis—changing their care plan and potentially their lives.” The findings of this landmark study were published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice recently . A Gallup poll, which covered 10,000 adult patients in The US says that nearly 70 per cent of Americans have benefitted from taking a second opinion on their original diagnoses and are now being treated for conditions revealed by an expert re-examinaton of their cases. “In every instance the patients got a new diagnosis that varied completely from the original finding.”
Almost all of us know of someone whose health condition has been mis-diagnosed and has consequently endured unnecessary treatment. Says the Mayo report: “Only 12 per cent of the patients received confirmation that the original diagnosis was complete and correct.” The panel of eminent doctors who authored the Gallup poll report observe: “Although having confidence in one’s personal physician is generally a good thing, doctors are only human and humans make mistakes and as with any big decision in life, the more information a patient has, the better equipped he/she is to make the right choices. “Whether the issue is serious or not, multiple opinions can virtually eliminate the risk of misdiagnosis.”
Even if the original diagnosis is proved correct, the journey of getting a second opinion from another expert can be very beneficial, says Dr William Kormos, at the Harvard Medical School. “Because different doctors often have different ways of treating the same illness, a second medical opinion can expose a patient to a broader range of treatment options some of which may be more appealing to the patient than what was prescribed by the primary physician.”
When should you get a second opinion?
When emergency treatment is the need of the hour there is not a minute to waste and so it would be foolhardy to think of a second opinion. However, in almost all cases where a serious condition has been diagnosed involving long-term or complex treatment including surgery, a second opinion is warranted.
Go for a second opinion particularly if:
- The diagnosis is not clear
- A rare or life-threatening condition has been diagnosed
- You have several medical problems
- You have a choice of treatments that vary widely in cost
- You’re not responding to a treatment as expected
Why take second opinion online
Most people avoid taking a second opinion for the fear of annoying their primary doctor. Also, they have trouble finding the best doctor for the opinion they seek. Assuming they do track him down, reaching such a doctor may be impossible as he may be another part of the world. The online option addresses all these issues by making it easy to search and find the best expert for your problem and getting his opinion regardless of distances in complete privacy. Although most good doctors are not upset if you desire a second opinion, when you seek the opinion online this concern is not even relevant. Not only is the ‘expert’ likely to give you the right confirmed diagnosis, he may also (if you have made the right choice) have access to unique, just emerging treatments that may significantly improve your chances of recovery.
Why Brains Hospitals is a good choice for Second Opinion?
If you have been diagnosed with a serious disease such as brain cancer, then a hospital like Brains, which specialises exclusively on the diagnoses, treatment and management of neuro and spine conditions is your best bet. The reason is clear: every doctor at such a hospital has proven expertise in specialties related only to neuroscience and, therefore, the opinion and recommendations you get are likely to be the most accurate and beneficial for your condition. What needs to be understood is that second opinions involve an independent review of all the data by a multidisciplinary team, which may then lead to a change in the diagnosis (as it happens in a majority of second opinion cases) and consequently in the treatment. Remember: when it comes to your health it is always better to be safe than sorry. Especially, when a second opinion costs nothing more than ten minutes on a website.