It is quite natural that some patients wish to seek a second opinion, and we are always happy to refer our patients for an opinion elsewhere. We even encourage it, because we believe you should decide on your preferred treatment only after exploring all the avenues open to you.
More often, we see men who have been investigated or treated elsewhere and are looking for further advice or confirmation that they are on the right path. Most insurance companies are happy to cover the cost of such a reassessment.
Typically, we start with detailed medical history and a physical examination; if required we can include a cardiovascular risk assessment, which may not have been done elsewhere. For prostate cancer, rather than re-biopsying the prostate we arrange for a review of the original pathology by our highly experienced consultant pathologists at HCA Laboratories. It is most helpful if you bring your own pathology slides with you, otherwise we can request them from the hospital where they were originally examined. We may also need to request a review of MRI, CT and/or bone scans by one of our specialist uro-radiologists.
We then go through your treatment options (which may include active surveillance, robotic surgery, radiotherapy, hormone therapy or chemotherapy) with you, your relatives and supporters, and the most appropriate specialist within our team. We also offer the opportunity to talk through some of the clinical issues with our experienced nurse specialist, you might also like to watch our educational DVDs here in the Prostate Centre.
Dealing with complications
If you are experiencing problems after surgery or radiotherapy elsewhere, it is helpful if you bring as many of your medical records as you can. Dr Heather Payne will discuss with you all the implications of any further cancer treatments; Mr Julian Shah has particular expertise in the surgical treatment of severe urinary incontinence or erectile dysfunction resulting from previous procedures performed elsewhere.