Should I Seek a Second Opinion?

Columbia Presbyterian Guide Helps Patients Make Informed Decisions About Surgery

Mar 1, 2000


Is surgery my only option? What are the risks? What are my chances for a full recovery? Should I get a second opinion?

Each year millions of men and women are told by their physicians that they need surgery, yet many are looking for more information to help them determine their best treatment option. Rather than weeding through an abundance of unreliable Web sites for answers, why not consult surgeons at one of the nation's leading medical institutions?

Second Opinion: The Columbia Presbyterian Guide to Surgery is a complete and comprehensive resource guide specifically designed for those individuals who must make a decision regarding surgery. Authored by Dr. Eric Rose, Surgeon-in-Chief at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Professor and Chairman of Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, the book combines his experience as one of the nation's top heart surgeons with the expertise of his colleagues from all surgical specialties to help prepare patients and their families for what is often a major health-care decision.

"If my patients are uncomfortable with what they hear from me, I strongly urge them to get a second opinion," says Dr. Rose. "No one should have surgery because they like the doctor's office or because the surgeon is a friend of a friend. Instead, patients need to be convinced that they understand exactly what the problem is and how an operation will help solve it."

From cataract removal to cardiac bypass surgery, Second Opinion provides step-by-step explanations of over 40 of the most commonly performed surgical procedures, along with the most up-to-date information on presurgical tests, possible risks and complications, and the recovery process. Dr. Rose advises the reader how to find the right surgeon and the best ways to research his/her background and qualifications. He also includes a checklist of important questions to ask your primary-care physician prior to surgery, the latest information on alternative treatment options, and an extensive, unbiased resource section.

"I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for patients to be their own health-care advocates," says Dr. Rose. "It is my hope that this book will serve to inform, and therefore to empower, patients and their families when they are faced with the stressful reality of making decisions regarding surgery."