Neil Gets A Very Interesting Second Opinion Before Heart Valve Surgery
By Adam Pick on April 16, 2008
If there is one question I alllllllllllllllll-ways ask patients preparing for heart valve surgery, it is the following, “Did you get a second opinion?”
I can not emphasize this enough.
Recently, I had a discussion with Neil (a forty eight year old husband, father and very smart businessman from the East Coast). As our discussion began, Neil jumped right to the topic of valve selection – mechanical versus tissue.
I said, “HOOOOOLLLLD ON!!! Did you get a second opinion?”
Neil said, “Ummm. No… My cardiologist is one of the best around!”
I said cautiously, “Hmmm. Okay… But it might be worth it to get some extra feedback.”
Neil took my advice. He got a second opinion.
Another… Guess what?
The second cardiologist noticed something different from the primary cardiologist. Now, Neil may delay his heart valve replacement surgery AND he may be able to have an aortic valve repair instead of a valve replacement!!!
So you know, this does not always happen. In my case, my second opinion completely agreed with my cardiologist. (In fact, Dr. Chaikin accelerated the timing of my surgery.) However, knowing that both cardiologists agreed on my aortic stenosis diagnosis put my mind at ease.
Remember, as the graph above shows, about 35% of patients do not get second opinions. Please do not be one of them!
Keep on tickin!