That crucial second opinion

After Dr Y (see Old Dogs entry) gave E and I the devastating news and suggested we go down the adoption route, we were both basically shell shocked with E crying and me just holding things together.

We went down the adoption route, but I’ll write about this another time.

Post adoption course, we both decided to have a look into the surgical options for E’s fibroid eg myomectomy or uterine artery embolisation and how each of them affected fertility. We looked into specialists outside of our home city and potential costs.

Through the fertility unit, E and I met a fertility counsellor who E felt comfortable talking to and decided to meet her, outside of the unit on a 1-2-1 basis.

After the shock news, E met the counsellor to discuss anxieties and questions she had post diagnosis. The counsellor asked whether a second opinion had been sought.

Since the top dog had been the person that gave the horrific news to us, the thought if getting a second opinion was not something we thought about, especially within the city we live in.

We booked a private Gynaecology appointment with a recommended Dr whom eventually proved to be E’s ‘knight in shining armour’- Dr Z.

Dr Z scanned E once again (boy she was coping well with all these uncomfortable internal scans!). He requested an MRI for a detailed scan of the grapefruit sized fibroid and based on the report decided that the fibroid was resectable.

OOOOMG!

He said the surgery would be difficult and long, but he believed it was possible and because we wanted to try for a baby he was going to try and maintain the integrity of the womb as best as he could.

In order to prepare E for surgery Dr Z decided that the fibroid needed to be shrunk down to reduce the surgical load.

The six months on medical treatment are a story in themselves and once again I shall write about this soon.

From Dr Y dropping the H-bomb and Dr Z successfully removing the fibroid was 15 months.

Getting a second opinion was the best thing we ever did, but asking for a second opinion is uncommon here in the UK.

The assumption is that you are questioning these all powerful and all knowing doctors about their clinical expertise and thus could be perceived to be a troublemaker.

But why not get a second opinion when you’re not happy with the first? We didn’t know. Despite being a GP myself, I do not claim to be a fertility expert and thus hope that the specialist who sees us acts as our advocate and does the best for us.

Instead it seems the top dog was literally an old dog and a bit of a bully, pushing his conservative views onto liberal minded patients without allowing open thought and discussion.

As a GP, I hope not to be insulted when a patient requests a second opinion and will look on our experience as a great positive!

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