I went for my second opinion yesterday for the left ethmoidectomy and antrostomy. Some of you may recall that this will be my third surgery. The doctor was great -- answered all of my questions thoroughly, etc...The problem is this: He agrees that I am clear out of options in that I have tried everything, however, he is "on the fence" as to whether or not the surgery will help. He was quite apologetic, as he knew that was not what I wanted to hear. Nonetheless, I appreciated his honesty. He said that things do look very open up there and he can't see anything through the scope or on my scans that would explain why I am having this problem. Great.
Now, I didn't have this episodic problem until about a week post-op after the first surgery (7 years ago). So what I didn't ask him, but should have, was, could this surgery make things worse??
I really feel like I'm in a bind now....but I know I have to do something, as I cannot live on antibiotics and steroids for the rest of my life.
And here's a question for you all -- would you tell your current dcotor that you had the second opinion? I really would like to, but I also don't want to tick him off before he's about to go up there...
I went to four different ENT's before my last surgery. I went to one for a year before the surgery and actually scheduled surgery with another doctor that I went to for a second opinion. The doctor I scheduled with wanted to do a more minimally invasive procedure. They were both excellent surgeons, I just decided I wanted to try the less invasive. They both did FESS though which is important.
Are you using an ENT from a teaching institution? You might want to check out the website on Best Hospitals from Newsweek. It is a good place to start and find an excellent surgeon.
There is no need to tell your surgeon you are going for a second opinion. Some surgeons can be very accepting of the need for a second opinion and others get upset. You have the right to get as many opinions as you feel you need. I recently had spinal surgery. I interviewed 8 doctors before I decided on having the surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Good luck with your search and best wishes for a successful surgery.
I can only say what I would do in an instance like this.
I would seek out the best surgeon I could find to do this procedure. I was lucky, because I had one of the best sinus surgeons in the entire world do mine, a guy who is probably the foremost authority in cutting edge techniques, and who has performed thousands of complex surgeries in the past. He's also published hundreds of articles, and won many awards. Since my surgery, I've had almost no problems.
My surgeon is in Chicago, and heads up the Center for Advanced Specialty Care at Illinois Masonic Hospital and he has a private practice.
If this is going to be your 3rd surgery, I would make sure no one but the best even tries to go in there to fix this awful problem!
I saw my surgeon after seeing another ENT, but I didn't tell the 1st guy I got a second opinion. Interestingly enough, the first guy didn't see any emergency, and I suffered greatly, until finally, the second guy did an endoscopic exam and said "you need surgery right away. I'm going to juggle the schedule and get you in."
Honestly if I were faced with your deliemma, I would get yet another opinion and choose the surgeon who wanted to do the more invasive surgery. My surgery in 2003 was very well performed, but honestly he was too conservative and did not do enough. As we speak, I am waiting fo the results of another CT b/c 2 years later my problems are starting up again. Already my new ENT (i've relocated) has expressed suprise that my surgeon did not fix my slight deviated septum.
In the old days, surgeons who wanted to perform less invasive procedures were considered cautious and level headed. Ones who wanted to do invasive procedures were looked at as wanting to make more money. In this day and age though, I think doctors who want to perform less invasive procedures are either being pressured to by HMO's to save money or are being cautious b/c they are afraid of lawsuits if something goes wrong. Thus, people who need really complicated surgeries are not getting the procedures done that they really need.
Last edited by sneezydiva; 02-07-2005 at 09:26 PM.