Have you or one of your relatives been advised to undergo surgery? Are you unsure whether this is the best course of action? Well, the best thing for you to do is to get a second medical opinion from a reputed medical surgeon.
Research shows many times patients are advised surgery when it does not have to be the first line of treatment. As patients have full faith in the doctor, they follow the instructions to the T. A good example is the hysterectomies that women are often advised. It has been found that a majority of women asked to undergo hysterectomy do not really need it, and can be treated for their gynecological problem without an invasive treatment.
Due to this reason many patients realize the importance of seeking second medical opinion. Most often, differences in opinion between the original doctor and the second opinion consultant happen in cases related to heart problems, hysterectomies, knee replacements, and infertility.
We have a huge reason to be concerned about this issue as mostly, it is the elderly and aged who are advised to undergo operations or surgeries. These surgeries are risky for frail and elderly patients who put through unnecessary trauma and stress.
Why is this unnecessary recommendation happening increasingly?
- Doctors feel that the more medical intervention the patient has, the better off the patient will be.
- Excessive use of advanced medical technology.
- Prescription of unnecessary medicines and treatments by doctors ‘just to be on the safe side’.
- Inadequate counseling of patients about the pros and cons involved in certain surgeries.
- Excessive and aggressive marketing of healthcare services by pharmaceutical companies and private hospitals.
- High demand for medical intervention by patients who feel the need to have a quick fix-it for every medical issue.
- Commissions and other incentives promised to doctors who recommend the most number of surgeries and medical tests.
- Less investment in the public healthcare and less emphasis on providing proper sanitation facilities and hygienic drinking water.
- Heavy financial investment in innovative and expensive medical technologies which are still in the research and development stage and not enough finance contributed to the maintenance of public hospitals.
It is an unfortunate truth, but many doctors recommend unnecessary surgical procedures because it is the easiest treatment option available. This, researchers believe, has a profound effect on the mental and physical wellbeing of patients. Even the World Bank in 2014 declared that India was facing a problem due to medical overuse or patients being recommended to undergo surgery unnecessarily.
However, some medical professionals disagree with this opinion and feel that in India the course of action that is recommended to the patient depends mainly on who the patient consults first because there are many alternative treatments which are still popular in India like Ayurveda and homeopathy.
The key here is to consultant a second doctor if you think your primary specialist may have been a bit hasty. If there is an iota of doubt in your mind about the surgical procedure, you can lay it to rest by going for a second opinion.