Whether you've been living with a heart condition for most of your life or have just recently received a diagnosis, it's important that you seek multiple sources of advice. This is particularly true when you're facing a major change in your treatment regimen.
If you find yourself faced with a difficult decision regarding your heart health and treatment and are wondering if you should seek more information, check out these tips on when to get a second opinion.
If surgery is recommended for your heart health, then you may want to seek a second opinion. While many common heart surgeries are minimally invasive and can be recovered from quickly, it’s important to seek more information before committing.
As the American Heart Association points out, there is a great difference in the cost of heart procedures, and you may not need a more expensive one to provide good results. While cost should never keep you from receiving the proper treatment, it couldn’t hurt to ask another doctor whether a recommended procedure is necessary for your specific circumstances and whether less expensive alternatives may be just as good.
2. Medicine changes
The world of medicine is continually evolving. Since medicine is by no means a perfect science, it isn't rare for your doctor to take you off of one medicine and put you on another or change the dosage of your current prescription. Still, it can be a good idea to run these changes by another medical professional to ensure that they are necessary.
In some cases, changing your treatment regimen in this way can require you to adjust other lifestyle factors, a process which can be both time consuming and cumbersome. When your doctor recommends altering current medications, speak with him or her at length about the reasons behind the decision and the potential benefits of it. This will allow you to bring as much information as possible to your second physician and make the most informed choice that you can.
3. When other health problems are involved
Your body's many complex systems interact with one another constantly. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that having a procedure done for your heart may affect other parts of your body. As the Gundersen Health website reports, other health conditions can occasionally make a heart surgery riskier.
If you have an additional condition and are advised to undergo a cardiac procedure, inform your physician of the other condition and ask whether this may change the treatment recommendation. In turn, take that information to another doctor who specializes in your other condition and gain a second opinion regarding whether the procedure is right for you.