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Problems getting 2nd opinion?

I had microdiskectomy/laminectomy L4-5 in May. Foot pain continued after surgery and back pain got progressively worse. Just had an MRI showing that there is a herniation in the same spot. Surgeon (orthopedic surgeon) wants to re-operate - has suggested two options - same as before or fusion. I told him I wanted to get a second opinion before deciding. I also thought I might consider having a neurosurgeon look at it for advice and also thought I might want to have a neuro do the 2nd surgery, since the first surgery failed. Anyway, I have called 2 NS offices and have been told that they will not talk to me since I had surgery in May with someone else. Not only will they not consider whether to perform surgery on me, they won't even meet with me for a second opinion. It seems like other surgeons don't want to get involved in case the first surgeon did something wrong. Has anyone else run into this? Is my only option to go back to surgeon #1? Is it possible to at least just get a 2nd opinion?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    edited 10/17/2013 - 5:26 PM
    none of that makes sense. No doctor should have any objections for their patient to look for a second opinion.
    And then the doctor who is looking at you , should not make any immediate conclusions until they have had a chance to look at you and read all the diagnostic tests. Having prior surgery should have no impacts
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I have worked in a hospital and seen 'turf wars' (ego) between specialist. So I think they might not want to touch something when you think another Dr has not done a good job. I actually got an opinion from a retired ortho recommended to me, just to look over my file and answer some of my concerns. They do charge even though you won't technically be their pt. But maybe they can refer you to someone practicing to re do if deemed necessary.
  • jeffntatejjeffntate Posts: 58
    edited 10/17/2013 - 5:55 PM
    I know doctors at teaching universities are used to giving second opinions. I got a third opinion at one, and I'm going with his recommendation for surgery.
    Cervical laminectomy, facetectomy, and foraminotomy (3-6 of each) with instrumentation and cadaver fusion due to cervical spondylotic myelopathy, radiculopathy ,and spinal cord contusion - surgery done in April 2014.
  • Thanks for your help. I did not say anything to the NS office's I spoke with about my surgeon not doing the job right. I just said that I had surgery in May, have had pain since, and had a recent MRI that showed a bulge in the same spot. Told them that my surgeon wants to re-operate and I want a second opinion. Both offices said they won't meet with me if I had surgery in May. I guess I can understand that IF the surgeon did something wrong to cause the new herniation, they don't want to get involved. I didn't say anything like that to them, though.
  • davrunnerddavrunner Posts: 478
    edited 10/21/2013 - 10:10 AM
    I went to my primary care to get a rec for a second opinion and he told me to go back to the surgeon. Which I did, the surgeon has been trying to get a Dr a Vanderbilt to take a look at my case, but seems even with original sugeons blessing they don't want to get involved in someone elses work.
    My knees not a Picaso, I'll let 10 surgeons work on it if it will identify what's wrong and fix it.....
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • I've called 5 hospitals/orthos and NO ONE will see me since I've already had surgery. Such a load of crap. Real helpful
    Left side MicroD l5-s1 2/7/13. Re herniated immediately
    Revision bilateral MicroD and posterior lumbar decompression 9/9/13. Failed. L5-S1 fusion on 3/6/14.
  • And dont tell them you had a surgery in May.

    Just say you need a consultation appt for back pain.....the receptionist does not need to know more

    But make sure you go to a doc that practices in a different hospital or conglomerate of hospitals.

    That " good old boy" club
    Keeps them sticking up for each other

    You may have to trav a distance, but an OBJECTIVE OPINION will be worth it

    Hope it works out for you

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    From any medical institute. All the information regarding your surgery, medications, etc is easily available through medical networks. If you went to another hospital, doctor I dont care how many miles away and you held back information and then they find out you were lying. You would in more trouble than you want to even think about.

    Honesty works. When you are looking for a second opinion, its not that you are challenging or think the original doctor didnt do a good job. Its just then you are having pain, perhaps new pain and you would like a different set of eyes to look at it.

    I know some of the doctors associated with the hospital where my surgeries have been have even suggested that to me.
    Fresh eyes might see something new.

    But do not * * LIE * *
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • kathleenkkathleen Posts: 28
    edited 10/23/2013 - 8:03 PM
    They would know the minute they looked at the MRI that I had surgery, so not telling them would be pointless. I wouldn't feel right doing that anyway. Fortunately, I have a friend whose husband is a neurosurgeon and she said he would at least look at the MRI and give his opinion. I dropped it at their home tonight. Otherwise I'm not sure I would have been able to get help. It doesn't seem right.
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