How to Get a Second Opinion for Spinal Surgery

Many people don’t know how to go about asking for, or getting, a second opinion on their spinal surgery–or, for that matter, many other important medical procedures.

If you find yourself in this group, don’t worry.  We’re here to help!  One of the questions we hear most frequently is…

Is it rude to ask for a second opinion on spinal surgery?

Absolutely not!  Your good health and well-being are incredibly important and there is nothing wrong with asking for a secondstethoscope opinion.

Think about other big decisions in your life.  Before buying a home, you speak to a number of trained professionals who help you understand which options are the best for you.  Similarly, if your car needs work, you seek out more than one quote–not just to get the best price, but also to get peace of mind that both mechanics are identifying the same issue and recommending similar repairs.  You should give your body the same consideration.

Of course, it’s polite of you to consider your doctor’s feelings, but rest assured: they will not be offended.  Far from it!  Your doctor is a professional.  As such, he or she has your best interest at heart, will welcome anything that puts your mind at ease, and will appreciate the insights provided by a reputable spinal surgery second opinion.

And, remember: your spinal surgery is up to you. Your doctor should help guide you to the right choice for your situation, but the final decision is yours.  As such, you should do everything in your power to make the choice clearer and to give yourself peace of mind.

How do I tell my doctor I want a second opinion
(or that I’ve already gotten one)?

Be forthright.  You have a right to be involved in the process–it’s your spinal health that’s at stake!

Explain to your doctor that you want more information and would welcome a second opinion to ensure all options have been explored and that the best possible treatment path for your spinal surgery is chosen.

If your doctor appears angry or upset at your request for a second opinion, you should seriously consider looking elsewhere for your spinal care needs.  Even if you remain with your doctor, keep in mind that you don’t need to rely on them for a referral.  You can find expertly trained spinal surgeons online who will be happy to give you a reliable second opinion at a reasonable cost.

Remember, you get second opinions for all types of situations in your day to day life–don’t feel bad about asking for one when it comes to something as serious as spinal surgery.

Dr. David Bomback

About Dr. David Bomback

Dr. Bomback has excelled throughout his entire academic career. After graduating high school as salutatorian, he then graduated cum laude from Columbia College, Columbia University where he was named one of only five Rabi Scholars (for mathematics and science) in his class. He then earned his medical degree at Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons,... Read More »