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Getting a second opinion is standard medical practice these days is a must. There are thousands of surgical procedures performed in the Caribbean every year and the majority of these operations are necessary for the health and well being of the patient. But, according to recent studies, a large percentage of surgeries may be unnecessary.

Lots of people are now seeking second opinions, especially when it comes to surgery procedures and also insurance companies are encouraging second opinions for surgical procedures as more people are beginning to take an active role in their health care options.

Based on all of the surgeries performed, one can conclude that overall health system around the Caribbean is ok; particularly in the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. However, we still hear of horror stories and failed operations from time to time, both in Dominica and around the Caribbean.

A second medical opinion can save you time and money, and it is possible that the condition in question can be treated by means other than surgery. Your doctor’s approach to treating your condition is influenced by his training, experience, and exposure to new techniques. Getting a second opinion is standard medical practice, and you will find that most physicians welcome second and even third opinions. You can be open with your physician about this as you tell him your feelings and how much more comfortable you’d feel getting another doctor’s opinion.

If you decide to get a second medical opinion on a surgical procedure, you may wish to ask your doctor to refer a colleague or specialist or you can seek out another doctor yourself. With help of the internet, you will be amazed to know the amount information you can get off the internet about illness you’ve and the doctors specializing in that particular medical field.

When you go to a second doctor, tell him or her name of the recommended surgical procedure and do over the various tests you have already had. This can save you the unnecessary expense of running duplicate medical tests. If the second doctor agrees that the surgery is necessary, he or she will usually send you back to the first doctor. If you make the decision to have the recommended surgery, there are a number of questions you may like to have answered such as from what medical school did the surgeon graduate, and in what specialty did the surgeon complete an accredited residency program, etc.

Once you are comfortable with your choice of a surgeon, find out what your options are. Ask about possible risks, complications and side effects, and the length of the recovery period. Talk to others who have had the same procedure. Also, don’t forget to check with your insurance company (if you’ve one) to learn if the surgical procedure is covered under your policy, and if so, whether it is covered as in-patient or out-patient surgery. Remember, you’ve the right to be informed of all your health care options, especially when it involves a surgical procedure.

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