Heart and Vascular Second Opinion
Why pursue a second opinion?
If you have been diagnosed with a heart or vascular condition, it is important to consider which option will be best for you among the range of available approaches. For this reason, we offer a second opinion service which provides you with a treatment plan that includes review of existing information and coordination of any additional evaluation you may need. Our cardiologists will spend the time assisting you with identifying your options, and deliver a customized care plan specifically for you.
A second opinion is intended to give you peace of mind, especially when facing a serious medical situation, and may help prevent unnecessary procedures, or provide you with an alternate option for consideration when it comes to your diagnosis. With the constant stream of new and advanced research in the medical field, it can be especially helpful to obtain a second opinion from a physician who places importance on the practice of evidence-based medicine, as we do at Summit Cardiology. Insurance companies might also require you to obtain a second opinion, especially if your doctor recommends surgery when a non-invasive procedure is readily available.
Patients experiencing side effects from medications may seek a second opinion, to see if an alternative course to wellness through the use of different medications and/or lifestyle changes may better meet their needs.
The Heart and Vascular Second Opinion Service at Summit Cardiology
The Heart and Vascular Second Opinion Service is designed for patients diagnosed with any heart condition, or for those who have been advised that they need a heart-related surgical procedure.
Patients diagnosed with a serious condition will often seek a second opinion, and there are many valid reasons for seeking one. This can include patients who have undergone heart surgery and are currently experiencing new symptoms; other patients may want to know if their medication regimen is the best course of treatment for them. Additionally, we also see patients who may feel that their concerns are not heeded, or they simply wish to pursue every option and ensure the latest advancements in surgical and medical treatment are being considered.
Some of the diagnoses or procedures that we typically provide second opinions for include:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Coronary artery disease
- Cardiac catheterization
- Valvular heart disease
- Mitral valve prolapse
- Mitral or aortic valve repair or replacement
- Bypass surgery
- Aortic aneurysm
- Myocardial aneurysm
- Atrial septal defect and patent foramen ovale (PFO)
- Hyperlipidemia and other cholesterol problems
- Carotid disease
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Heart failure
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
When Advice Conflicts
When the advice from a second-opinion doctor is in agreement with your primary physician, you will feel comforted knowing that you are making the right decision concerning your health.
Other times a second opinion can contradict the advice of your primary doctor, and you will have to make a decision. Having a dialogue with both doctors about the conflicting opinions is appropriate, keeping in mind that many medical problems can be reasonably approached in more than one way.
What to expect from a second opinion
One of our cardiologists will conduct a detailed review of your medical records. You will be scheduled for a face-to-face consultation to discuss findings and recommendations. Please remember to bring all pertinent outside images and reports to your first appointment if possible so we will have images available for review and comparison, as well as to complete a thorough assessment of your condition and treatment options.
Leading-Edge Diagnosis & Treatment
We utilize the Philips IE33 ultrasound system in our Echo Lab. It is considered one of the most advanced ultrasound system produced in recent years. This innovative technology offers our cardiologists the ability to see cardiac structures and function not seen previously. The system provides a depth of functionality which is far superior to what is generally available.
Our Nuclear Lab utilizes the latest solid state imaging technology, the first and presently only such camera in Seattle, which provides patients with shorter imaging time as well as lower radiation exposure and higher image quality. In addition, we are able to accommodate heavier patients and have the flexibility to customize tests based on patients’ specific needs.