Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

I see new NS tomorrow....

LakesideLLakeside Posts: 281
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi spiney pals! I have a quick question for those who have ever been ref'd by their GP's to another NS for more opinions...what do I say to him when he asks (as I'm sure he will) "Why are you here today?"

Quick background: my GP initially, 3 yrs ago, ref'd me to the 1st NS who did my 3 surgeries & is comfy w/ his expertise (as am I) but since I have so many on-going issues (tingling, numbness, weakness in legs, burning pain below fusion area, still take daily dilaudid for all this + valium, which she RX's) she suggested seeing this other NS "just so we can know that nothing is amiss, that these issues are benignly chronic.." etc. She knows I don't want any invasive procedures at this time, but still feels it prudent to get another opinion on my pain, etc.

Do I say that to him? As in "My GP wanted me to see you b/c she wants to know if this stuff is just fusion-fall-out, chronic nerve damage, etc---what my other NS said.." or is that "leading the witness" & being insulting to the new doctor?? (As instructed, I sent him my latest post-fusion x-rays & MRI CD's along w/ the OR reports etc. so he'll have a pretty good idea of my condition b4 I see him, I would suspect.)

I haven't seen a new doc in over 3 years & just not sure what to say/do. I mean, he might be perplexed as to WHY I'm there at all...! I'm not looking for surgery, nor even asking for treatment..just his opinion. Is this a common thing to do?

Gwennie, you're so good at "translations"! What are your, & others', thoughts? I'm perfectly willing to stay like this, so long as things don't get worse. I have good days. bad days, just like everyone else. But I can still walk, work & get around. Am I wasting his time? Would he think that? (After all, he IS a surgeon...)

Thanks in advance for any insights/suggestions!



  • Lakeside, I think it is a great idea to have "another set of eyes". I think you can be honest and have the context of your appointment be consultation. Typically before a surgery, you get several opinions and surgeons understand that and expect it, along the lines of 'professional expectations" :)

    It is so hard to go to see another surgeon when you have your history, confidence and comfort level with your medical team.

    Hopefully, others will be able to give you more suggestions. Good luck! Shari
  • I don't think you have to explain too much. You are seeing him for a second opinion. Plain and simple. You aren't wasting his time. He is paid to evaluate nerve issues and I'm sure he will be pleased to try and help you. I am seeing a new neurologist for continuing issues and I'm sure he will evaluate me and give me his opinion.

    Best thing to do is just be prepared to explain your symptoms and medical history as clearly as possible.

    Take care. Hope he can help you.

  • Just tell the NS that your PCP referred you for a consult and evaluation. I understand how you feel because I'd want to stick to the same surgeon too. Well, you can think of this as a second opinion. It would be interesting to see what another doctor thinks and maybe some new ideas might come about. Take care
  • I would of gotten another opinion a long time ago based on what you described in your post. You have a lot of stuff going on and are on some stong pain medicine to boot. I would be getting 1 or 2 more opinions whether I loved the surgeon or not. They all tend to look at things differently and will give you different options in which to treat your situation. Based on the amount of work you have had done I would go to one of the big city teaching hospitals that specialize in spines. Just tell whoever you see that you would like a fresh set of eyes to take look at your situation.

    Just my opinion.

  • Before my 2nd MicroDiscectomy, I had SEVEN 2nd opinions. I got good at telling them that.

    Anyhow, I think you just say...here's my history of pain, injury, treatments. I'm now X-months (or years out) and recently had an appt with my GP. He recommended you as someone to consult with for another opinion on my situation.

    That's it. He may ask you what you are hoping to hear but that's easy. Tell him you want his opinion on your current 'status' and what he thinks he would do if he were treating you to improve your situation.

    Good luck.
  • All your collective advice reassures me that tomorrow will be interesting, to say the least...! Many thanks for all the posts!

    I tend to "overthink" things & as you all say, just be up-front, honest, forthcoming, etc & let him give his opinion & take it from there. Looking for some improvement, perhaps, but nothing invasive. Being pro-active, yet conservative.

    Plus my history, prior exams/procedures, tests, etc + my current chonic pain will "speak" for me, should I get flustered...it's all out there for him to look at & give his opinion of.

    I believe, also, my apprehension stems from this new doctor not knowing me b4 this downward spiral began, that is, my "old" NS saw me & knew me b4 this, when I was my "old healthy self" not this "damaged" person now...my other NS knows what's been lost, what I'VE lost & has felt my grief over the years with me...we shared 45 minute appointments with many tears on my end & he always understood from whence they sprung, many times from the well of emotional pain, along w/ the physical.

    Well, on to tomorrow~! Again, many thanks for the posts & counsel! I will report in this weekend, and hopefully have some encouraging news.

  • I just saw your post. I haven't been on the board as much lately as I've been working on my appeal to the insurance company for my 3 level fusion that was denied.

    You have received good suggestions from my cohorts! I recently met with a new NS associated at the U. of Chicago. I went in as a new patient and the only records he had were two MRIs, one that he refused to look at. I just told him my history, that I still had significant pain and wanted someone to take a fresh look at my current condition. I didn't need to state anything further...what I wanted, or what my expectations were. I just left it up to him...and he went about his work just like I was any new patient. He examined me, asked questions, looked at my MRI, and then we talked about my options.

    Doctors today, particularly specialists such as these are very used to giving "second opinions." They are all so busy that they don't need to recruit patients...and their egos are big enough that if you go elsewhere, they just think it's your loss! ;)

    If he asks "why are you here today?" just be prepared to quickly give him a brief list of your condition now...your symptoms, level of pain, etc. That will get the conversation going, and he will ask what he wants to know after that.

    I look forward to hearing what he has to say. One NS I went to managed to find the few tests I had never had, and wanted me to have them and then come back to see him. By then I had already decided that I didn't like the way the practice was run, so I never had the tests, and never went back!

    Take good care,
Sign In or Register to comment.