Asking for a second opinion isn’t rude or disrespectful — it means you take your health seriously. On this page, we’ve outlined everything you need to know about this process, so that you can be as informed as possible when planning for your surgery.

Why is a second opinion so important?
A second opinion increases your knowledge about your procedure and condition, which empowers you to make better decisions about your care.

For example, your first surgeon may recommend traditional open back surgery, while your second one believes that a minimally-invasive approach is in your best interest. The discrepancy doesn’t mean that one is right and one is wrong – it just means that there are different ways to handle your pain. A second opinion gives you all the facts so that you can select the treatment plan that is aligned with your goals and preferences.

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At Long Island Spine Specialists, we believe in second opinions for all of our patients.

However, it’s most important when:

  • Your personal goals are vastly different from your surgeon’s
  • You want to find out if there are alternatives to the recommended surgery
  • You aren’t comfortable with the first physician and/or their recommendations
  • An initial procedure was unsuccessful and a second surgery is being recommended
  • You simply want to confirm that the surgery is the best approach for your circumstances


When meeting with a spine surgeon for your second opinion, you’ll want to bring a list of questions and an open mind.

The most common questions include:

  • The surgeon’s experience with the type of back surgery you require
  • The consequences if you don’t move forward with surgery
  • The next steps if the surgery is unsuccessful
  • Potential alternatives to the procedure
  • Risks and complications
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