Getting a second opinion is standard medical practice these days.
There are millions of surgical procedures performed in the United States 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 percentage of surgeries may be unnecessary.
Many people are now seeking second opinions, especially when it comes to elective surgery procedures. Also some insurance companies are encouraging second opinions for surgical procedures and more people than ever are beginning to take an active role in their health care options.
Based on all of the surgeries performed, one can conclude that overall we have a good system. However, we still hear of horror stories and botched operations from time to time, both in this country and around the world.
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 candid and 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. If you'd rather seek out another doctor yourself, you can take the matter up with your local medical society or area medical school.
When you go to a second doctor, tell him or her the 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. You might also want to inquire as to how many operations like yours the particular surgeon has performed and how many of those patients have required additional surgery.
A good indicator of a surgeon's competence is certification by the American Board of Medical Specialties. The letters F.A.C.S. (Fellow of the American College of Surgeons) after the surgeon's name is another sign of a surgeon's qualifications.
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 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 deserve to be informed of all your health care options, especially when it involves a surgical procedure.
Hay fever is a chronic condition characterized by sneezing, nasal congestion, runny and itching nose, palate, ears and eyes.
If you recognize any of these symptoms chances are, you or some member of your family has experienced hay fever at one time or another.
Doctors call it allergic rhinitis. Most people know it as hay fever and if you've got it - - as 22 million Americans do - - you're likely to be plagued during the spring and fall seasons by such annoying symptoms as sneezing, congestion, runny nose, itchy throat and red, watery eyes. Allergy has different names.
Allergy reactions occurring in the nose and sinus are called "sinus" or "hay fever" or "allergic rhinitis." And when allergy reactions occur in the chest we call it "asthma."
Allergy reactions in the skin are named "hives" or "angioedema." So you see, allergy has different names depending upon where in your body it occurs.
One out of every six Americans suffers from an allergic condition. Allergy is an inherited trait, a genetic susceptibility towards the production of certain allergy anti-bodies.
Hay fever is basically an allergic reaction to pollens from trees, weed and grasses. Unlike garden flower pollen, which is carried by insects, the dry lightweight pollens which cause allergic rhinitis are generally spread by wind currents which make them difficult to avoid. In fact, samples of ragweed pollen have been found 400 miles at sea!
While most people suffer mild discomfort with hay fever, it is estimated that more than 40 percent of the 5.8 million children who have respiratory allergies miss some school, stay in bed or feel upset by the condition.
Additionally, complications from allergic rhinitis can be serious. The same allergens that cause hay fever can reach the lungs causing asthma and other complications. Sinusitis (inflammation of the sinus cavities) and nasal polyps (small outgrowths of the mucous membrane of the nose) may develop.
Secondary infections of the ear, larynx and bronchial tubes may occur. Also, prolonged year-round nasal stuffiness and mouth breathing may lead to facial bone growth changes in children.
Surprisingly, many parents realize that their children have asthma before their physicians do. An accurate diagnosis, however, is most important in helping to determine an appropriate individualized treatment program. Physicians specializing in allergy/immunology have special skills in the area of asthma management.
The allergy and asthma specialist will detect and determine those environmental elements (pollens, molds, dust mites, animal danders, workplace chemicals) which may be the cause of a patient's asthmatic condition.
A careful medical history, physical examination, selective allergy skill testing and lung function studies are typically performed. Occasionally, blood tests, home and workplace evaluations, and x-rays of the sinuses and lungs are required.
Unlike hay fever, asthma is a more complex disease involving a reversible constriction of the muscles lining the human airways.
It is more often associated with allergy immune cells and can get progressively worse reaching life-threatening stages if not properly controlled. It can be treated more effectively when it is diagnosed early.
The best therapy of all, however, is avoidance of those things which produce asthma symptoms.
This includes allergens, such as house dust mites, pets and irritants, such as tobacco smoke and chemical fumes.
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