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2 doctors, conflicting opinions. Which is better/right?

I have Kaiser so I have to go to one of their doctors. The chief of spine surgery recommends just spinal fusion. I did get approval to see a non Kaiser doctor for a 2nd opinion and he suggests spinal decompression and lumbar fusion. 

Obviously I think the 2nd doc sounds better but they won’t let me use him unless I appeal. Anyone have info if the decompression surgery is pointless or should I push the Kaiser doc to do both?



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,528

    At this moment, I would be thinking more about why the differences between the two doctors!  I've always stated when there is some conflicting ideas, you need to have at least two doctors that come up with the same diagnosis and the same action plan.   So, since you have a split decision right now, I would be looking for that third opinion.   Check with your insurance to see if another doctor you may choose is in the plan

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • I’m going to the first one today and I’ll ask his opinion about it. I want to hear him explain why his way is better for me. 

    Unfortunately I don’t have time to get a 3rd opinion unless it’s with another plan doctor. They all report to him so I’m worried they may be biased. 

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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,528

    Ok, but time should be on your side.   We could use some more details  Please read and respond to

    New Member Guidelines and Checklist

    Getting Ready for Surgery

    Unless one of the doctors have indicated to  you that surgery needs to be as soon as possible, I would want to wait until I was 100% comfortable with the plan that the doctors have

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • My mental health isn’t on my side. I’m in so much pain there’s no way I can possibly wait. Originally it was going to be early June. Now I’m looking end of July and that’s depressing. 

    About me. Was diagnosed DDD for over 20 years when I had osteomyelitis in my spine the past 10 I’ve had epidural injections which haven’t helped  5 years ago I had radio frequency ablation  that helped for 3 years  the last 2 nothing hasn’t helped epidurals, RFA, acupuncture, dry needling, yoga, PT, high doses of CBD  no relief 

    Sciatic pain now down both my legs  if I do any waking of a mile or more, I’m in severe pain for 3 days afterwards. 

    I know I need the fusion surgery. I’m just wondering if the spinal decompression surgery is worth it or not.  

    Waiting past July for me isn’t an option. If I don’t feel satisfied with what the doctor says today I guess I will try one of the other doctors and hope is opinion isn’t biased at all.  

  • Ok so this doctor actually agreed that both are needed so that solves that problem. 

    Thanks for your feedback. July can’t come fast enough 

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  • Hi Rob, just went through the whole thing. Similar surgery. Had a few issues but overall I'm healing. Six weeks ago for first surgery & four weeks ago for secound surgery. (See DavidH) 

    More importantly I was given a date five weeks ahead. I also wanted to get it over with ASAP. So I contacted the office manager/surgery coordinator and asked to be on standby list. She explained they didn't have a standby list for surgery (to much trouble and planning involved) so I persisted to explain that she could call me  anytime, any day, and I would be available at the hospital in one hour. Ready to go no questions asked ! She said she would let me know. Two days later got the call, cancellation opening, due to patient having the Flu for the next day.  So, couldn't eat after midnight and I was good for the next day. Just a suggestion. I also hated the wait. DavidH

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