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Second Opinions for Thyroid Patients

When It's Time for Thyroid Patients to Seek a Second Opinion


Updated November 28, 2011

There are a number of situations when a second opinion is advisable for a thyroid patient.

There are a number of situations when a second opinion is advisable for a thyroid patient.

Many people with thyroid disease are diagnosed and treated by primary care doctors, general practitioners and internists. But when more complicated thyroid situations develop - such as suspicious thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, an enlarged thyroid known as goiter, or Graves' disease -- second opinions for thyroid patients may be especially important. When thyroid surgery is recommended, it's also an important time for thyroid patients to seek a second opinion.

In some cases, borderline/subclinical thyroid issues, or hypothyroidism that isn't responding to treatment also calls for a second opinion. Thyroid experts Richard and Karilee Shames talk about these situations in When Should Thyroid Patients Get A Second Opinion?. Patient Empowerment guide Trisha Torrey also takes a look at the issue in When Do You Need a Second Opinion?

Trisha has also put together helpful guidelines on Finding a Second Opinion Doctor, and once you find the right practitioner, How to Work With a Second Opinion Doctor.

Endocrinologists: Pro and Con

Do you need an endocrinologist? It's a reasonable question. Many thyroid patients think that they should always consult with an endocrinologist or thyroidologist for a second opinion, but in some cases, a thyroid specialist is not necessarily the best choice for every patient.

It is important, however, for patients with thyroid cancer, acute Graves' disease, suspicious thyroid nodules, or a goiter to see an endocrinologist. And many experts recommend that patients with autoimmune Hashimoto's disease periodically see an endocrinologist to best monitor thyroid health.

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