It is Your Option to Know Options. You Deserve a Second Opinion.

A second opinion is the process of visiting another surgeon to confirm the diagnosis and treatment plan of the first surgeon, or to obtian an alternative diagnosis and/or surgical treatment.

A second surgical opinion before your operation should be considered by all patients. At Colorectal Surgery Services (CSS), we are happy to review the patient’s history, lab tests, radiology tests and give an opinion. We welcome and in fact encourage our patients to bring family members with them during their second opinion visit. We invite an open and honest discussion about the surgical options. We strive to make sure that the goals of the patient and our goals are met with emphasis on the best results possible. This second opinion often gives the emotional satisfaction the patient needs or fills in gaps of information.

Some patients are concerned that if the initial surgeon learns of them seeking a second opinion from another surgeon, the initial surgeon may become angry or not take care of them. At CSS we take the patients fears into consideration and act in professional way with our colleagues. Often times the second opinion is the same as the first opinion. When they do differ, that does not mean that one is “right” or “wrong.” They may just be different opinions and as a result different surgical options or approaches may be offered.

All of the surgeons at Colorectal Surgery Services (CSS) are board certified in both general surgery and colorectal surgery and have obtained fellowship status in both the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery. All of the surgeons at Colorectal Surgery Services have years of experience and have previously served in academic appointments performing research and / or educating others in their fields. The surgeons at CSS frequently have conferences with the staff to discuss complex patients and the care of those patients.

The following section is information adapted from the website of the American College of Surgeons:

“One good sign of a surgeon’s competence is certification by a national surgical board approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties. All board-certified surgeons have satisfactorily completed an approved residency training program and have passed a rigorous specialty examination.

The letters F.A.C.S. (Fellow of the American College of Surgeons) after a surgeon’s name are a further indication of a physician’s qualifications. Surgeons who become Fellows of the College have passed a comprehensive evaluation of their surgical training and skills; they also have demonstrated their commitment to high standards of ethical conduct. This evaluation is conducted according to national standards that were established to ensure that patients receive the best possible surgical care.”


What to Bring to Your Second Opinion Consultation?

When you come for your second opinion consultation feel free to bring a family member or a friend. They may think of questions you may not have or offer information about your symptoms or needs they have personally observed.

Ask you primary doctor’s and initial surgeon’s offices to copy your records. Bring those records with you. Bring any radiology and pathology test results.

Also, consider making a list of questions to ask. The surgeons at CSS are happy to answer all of them. Notify the staff member making your appointment if you think you may need extra time to discuss your case.


More Information

The more a patient knows, the better they are able to face the challenges and changes of any surgical procedure.