Second opinions can be helpful in most cases of elective foot and ankle surgery or difficult-to-treat, non-surgical pain syndromes. No two surgeons are alike. They all have different experiences, bedside manners, and views on how to best care for their patients. As a patient, it is important to be proactive about your healthcare, especially if you are uncomfortable with your current doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan. Being proactive and being well-informed will give you a greater degree of control over your treatment.
At Pacific Point Podiatry, Dr. Tea provides second opinions for patients who may have concerns about their current diagnosis and would like a re-evaluation of their condition.
What is a second opinion?
Finding out about a major diagnosis or the need for a major surgical procedure can be overwhelming. It is understandable to feel the need for reconfirmation or to get a fresh perspective on the situation. A second opinion is when a second doctor, other than your current doctor, reviews your medical records and offers an opinion about your diagnosis and treatment. A second opinion may or may not be in agreement with your first doctor’s diagnosis and recommended treatment plan. Additionally, you may or may not choose to go with the recommendations from the second opinion. But you are free to avail yourself of the benefit of a second opinion at any time. The key here is whether the diagnosis and treatment recommendation makes sense to you.
Does insurance cover second opinions?
Many health plans do cover second opinions. However, it is best to call your health plan provider to ensure you are covered for second opinions before scheduling an appointment.
When should you get a second opinion?
You should get a second opinion if:
- You have undergone treatment for a condition, but symptoms continue.
- You are diagnosed with a rare disease.
- You are uncomfortable with the diagnosis or treatment recommendations.
- You are diagnosed with cancer.
- You are looking for a less invasive procedure that is not as risky or has lifelong consequences.
What are the benefits of getting a second opinion?
Getting a second opinion can be very useful, especially if you are considering surgery or another major procedure. Being well-informed will help you weigh the pros and cons before making a health decision.
Some other benefits are listed here.
- Have your medical diagnoses and treatment options confirmed.
- Protect yourself from misdiagnoses.
- Consider a different diagnosis.
- Learn about the best treatment options available.
- Become aware of alternative treatment options.
- Find peace of mind.
Sometimes you may not have the flexibility to wait for a second opinion in times of emergency. In such a case, you should get clarity about your condition and treatment options from your doctor.
How do you find a doctor for a second opinion?
Here are some tips for finding a doctor for a second opinion:
- Ask your doctor for the name of another reputable podiatrist specializing in foot and ankle surgery who might be working in a different institution outside of the institutional culture and viewpoint.
- Ask friends and family for referrals to doctors.
- Check the provider listings from your health plan.
- Do an internet search for a foot and ankle surgeon in your city, and check out the patient reviews.
Should you inform your doctor about the second opinion?
Yes, let your doctor know if you are looking for a second opinion so that you can have your medical records, labs, and any imaging studies sent to the second doctor. Keeping your doctor informed will also keep communication open between the two doctors so they can your case and treatment recommendations.
How should you prepare for a second opinion?
After you schedule an appointment for a second opinion, request that your first doctor send all your test results and other records to the second doctor. You should call the second doctor’s office before your appointment to ensure that they have received all your reports.
Before your visit, prepare a list of questions for your second doctor so that you get the clarity you’re seeking.
Why should you schedule a second opinion with Dr. Tea?
At Pacific Point Podiatry, Dr. Tea aims to help all her patients live without pain or deformity and prevent amputations with early interventions. Her approach to podiatry is helping people make informed decisions about their health and giving them options to choose what is right for them. Medicine is dynamic and so are surgical techniques.
Having a well-rounded surgical background gives Dr. Tea the insight needed to consider all available treatment options and heal her patients using the best alternative for them. Dr. Tea believes that clear communication of conditions and detailing all available treatment options is essential for patients to make an informed decision about their care.
As far as surgical procedures are concerned, Dr. Tea has advanced foot and ankle training, specializing in using minimally invasive surgery for treatment. In most cases, these procedures can be performed in the doctor’s office (without hospitalization) and allow for quicker recovery.
Second Opinions with Dr. Tea at Pacific Point Podiatry
If you would benefit from a second opinion for your foot condition, call Pacific Point Podiatry (831) 288-3400 to schedule an appointment. You may also request an appointment online.