What are second opinions?

Breast Clinic

If you are unsure about what a GP may have said in regards to a health condition related to you, getting a second opinion could be a good option. This is when another consultant or doctor looks at your medical history and provide an independent opinion. Requesting a second opinion (or transfer of care) is your right and is not regarded as discourteous by your original team.

In some cases, it could be very useful, i.e. for complex cancer treatment plans. Second opinions help clarify options and confirm important decisions and treatments made by the original consultant or doctor. Most patients who decide to take a second opinion do so to be rest assured that they are being given the best treatment option available, before beginning the treatment procedure.

What happens during a second opinion

Second opinions can range from a detailed and in-depth consultation to do a full Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) review, depending on the issues and questions. If the second opinion is complex, sometimes it could require more than one appointment. Typically most records of the health condition is reviewed, including examination, letters/reports from original doctor/team, pathology reports including needle and blood tests, imaging reports (mammograms/ultrasound, MRI, CT bone scan, etc.). After everything has been reviewed, a detailed report is usually provided to the patient.

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