Receiving a second medical opinion can change a treatment plan and make a significant difference to a patient’s life
If you or a loved one has received a worrying diagnosis, or are not seeing any positive results from a current treatment plan, seeking a second medical opinion can be your path to peace of mind.
Thanks to VUMI’s Second Medical Opinion VIP® , Alexis Dorta recovered the use of his hand
VUMI’s insured, Alexis Dorta, underwent emergency surgery after an accident had severely impaired his left arm. The surgery was mostly successful, but Alexis lost mobility in his fingers.
Hoping for a better outcome, Alexis tried to schedule a re-evaluation of his arm. However, he was told he’d have to wait 45 days before this could be done. Finding this unacceptable, he decided to seek a second medical opinion through his VUMI® insurance plan.
Within a short amount of time, Alexis received new treatment ideas from two medical experts: one in the United States and the other in Spain. Both determined that while the initial surgical procedure had been correct, Alexis would need a second surgical intervention to regain mobility.
Two weeks later, thanks to this second opinion, Alexis underwent further surgery with an elbow specialist, which freed his ulnar nerve and allowed him to once again move his hand and fingers.
What would have happened if Alexis had waited as suggested by his first treating physician? Would he have regained his hand’s mobility had he not immediately undergone the second surgery recommended by the two specialists?
The entire process took only two weeks, from the time I requested a Second Medical Opinion VIP® to the time I was back in the operating room to have the recommended surgery,” comments Alexis. “When I compare this to the 45 days I would have had to wait for my second assessment with another specialist, I definitely believe time was a key factor in my recovery.
Asking for a second medical opinion can change unfavorable diagnoses and find successful treatments
Like Alexis Dorta’s experience, there are many cases in which asking for a second medical opinion has made the difference between illness and wellbeing. According to a study by the Mayo Clinic, 21% of patients who got a second medical opinion in 2017 obtained a diagnosis completely different from the initial one, and 66% of patients got a partially correct result, which was then adjusted by Mayo’s medical team.
A study published in “Annals of Surgical Oncology” in 2018 showed the diagnosis of 43% of the report’s 70 oncology patients changed after they had had a second medical opinion given by a multidisciplinary board.
The numbers are compelling for second opinions: 15% of experts make a significant change to the original diagnosis; 86% of experts recommend a significant change to the initially proposed treatment; and 35% of patients who have obtained a second medical opinion have avoided surgery.