7 Conditions That Need a 2nd
There are medical, economic and emotional conditions that make second opinions crucial, depending on the patient's relationship with the doctor and the type of procedure being recommended. The medical community recommends second opinions for all non-emergency surgeries, but some of the country's leading doctors recommend that women always pursue a second opinion – or even a third – in the following situations:
1. You have been diagnosed with cancer, especially breast or gynecological cancer. The severity of the condition merits a second opinion from specialists. Because detection of pre-cancerous conditions for breast cancer is on the rise, treatments vary from conservative to aggressive.
2. You have an unresolved heart condition or have been told to have a heart bypass procedure.
Because signs of heart attack and cardiac disease present differently in women than men, women experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath or a rapid heartbeat should always consult a second doctor. According to doctors at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, you always need a second opinion for heart bypass because of the risk of death, stroke and severe infection.
3. You have been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Whether benign or cancerous, a brain tumor diagnosis requires careful evaluation by more than one doctor. Best Doctors, a company that specializes in medical review and second opinions, told CNN that in some cases, inflammatory disease may be misdiagnosed as a tumor. While misdiagnoses are relatively rare, the seriousness of the condition warrants a second opinion.
4. You have unresolved menstrual problems or have been recommended for hysterectomy. In some cases of excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding, the symptoms may be a sign of a common hereditary bleeding disorder known as von Willebrand's disease, according to Consumer Reports in its interviews with leading doctors.
Fibroids and endometriosis, two conditions frequently associated with hysterectomy in the U.S., can be debilitating health issues that significantly affect quality of life. For women living with fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse and other non-cancerous conditions, hysterectomy is one of several treatment options. A second opinion may introduce surgical alternatives or present a minimally-invasive surgical option. A majority of women in the U.S. have traditional "open" abdominal hysterectomies that mean longer hospital stays, more pain and longer recovery periods.
Three other conditions that are common among women also warrant a second opinion because of possibility of misdiagnosis or because new advances in treatment are available.
5. Autoimmune disease such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
6. Irritable bowel syndrome, which may be misdiagnosed for celiac disease, a gluten allergy.
7. Varicose veins, which have surgical options but also effective, non-surgical options such as exercise, the use of stockings, injections and laser treatments.