Is Surgery the Only Option?

A lot of doctors now recommend surgery to their patients but is surgery really the only option??

It is indeed overwhelming to see the kind of development India has seen in the field of medicine. From bringing in the latest technology for diagnosis and surgeries to having internationally qualified doctors, India has become a medical hub and people from across the globe come here for treatment. Despite all this development, people are still misguided into unecessary tests and surgeries.


Surgery 1


According to a study done by the Times of India a resident of Kandivili, Gautam Sharma had severe left shoulder pain and was advised cardiac surgery the very next day itself. But he has a feeling it had nothing to do with the heart but to do with the shoulder bone itself. He took a second opinion and sent his ECG to a doctor in the US who in turn connected him to an orthopaedic surgeon there. The orthopaedic surgeon said his bones were not aligned properly and that was causing the pain. He was taught some exercise and today his pain is much better and he is leading a normal life.

According a study done by an organisation specializing in second opinions in Mumbai on 12,500 patients almost 44% of the patients were advised against surgery when they went in for a second opinion. This is the situation in India, but that does not mean that doctors in USA do not recommend surgery. According to a study done by USA Today (, Jonathan Stelly a pro baseball player fainted once while playing and was rushed to a cardiologist. The cardiologist said he needed a pacemaker if he wanted to live even till 30. He underwent the surgery and had a pacemaker implanted but months later he heard that the cardiologist had been arrested for unnecessary surgeries. He also learnt that all he needed was blood pressure medication! The doctor had not just put him through an unnecessary surgery but also taken away the love of his life baseball. According to US Today in the US unnecessary surgeries account for 10 t0 20% of the surgeries done every year in some fields including cardiac, knee, spine surgeries and hysterectomies.


Surgery 2

An overdose of surgeries has been commonly seen in the field of orthopaedics especially in terms of knee replacement surgeries. The Indian Society of Hip and Knee Surgeons reports that 66,352 total knee replacements were done  in the country in 2013, compared to merely 9,951 cases reported by it in year 2008. Dr C S Yadav, professor, department of orthopaedics at AIIMS says that nearly 30 to 35% of knee replacement surgeries done in India are unnecessary and so patients at AIIMS are being educated about lifestyle modifications and exercises which can help them avoid surgery.


Surgery 3


Another surgery which has become increasingly common in India is a hysterectomy or surgical removal of the uterus. This is usually recommended in women of menopausal age who have excessive bleeding, fibroids, cysts etc. Many women across the country have undergone unnecessary hysterectomies and later regret it. According to a survey done by Oxfam in a village in Rajasthan, out of 285 women investigated to, 258 had undergone hysterectomies in 6 months and the youngest amongst these was just 18 years old. These surgeries simply exploit the rural women who really don’t need surgeries and are threatened into having these surgeries putting fear of cancer into them.

Surgeries and Cancer

Being diagnosed with cancer itself is a very stressful situation and if you are advised surgery it is going to worry you even more. Please relax and understand why the doctor is advising surgery. According to the Mayo Clinic the doctor advises surgery for cancer to-

  • Firstly diagnose the cancer and see of the tumour if benign
  • Surgery is also preventive if you have developed any tissues or extra growths.
  • To determine the stage in which your cancer is and to decide the line of treatment.
  • As a mode of primary treatment especially if your cancer is in the initial stages
  • Debulking- removing as much of the cancereous tissue as possible so chemotherapy and radiation are effective
  • To relieve stress and pain especially if you have a tumour pressing on a nerve.

Why Unnecessary surgeries?

Surgeries are becoming so common these days that it has become important to understand the reason behind this attitude of doctors and why they are prescribing so many unnecessary surgeries.

  • High levels of medical interventions- including tests which costs a lot and then telling people that surgery is the only option
  • Lavish and unnecessary use of medical technology to do tests and surgeries.
  • Defensive medicine or playing it safe and convincing patients that surgery is the best option
  • Failure to counsel patients on whether the surgery is necessary or not.
  • Aggressive marketing my companies and hospitals regarding surgical procedures.
  • Incentives provided by companies to doctors for performing surgeries.

The patient should decide on whether he or she needs to have a surgery after having-

  • A complete check up by the phyisican or family doctor to decide whether the surgery is required or not.
  • Discussed with the doctor about alternate lines of treatment which can help avoid surgery.
  • Understood the whole procedure of the surgery and why he or she needs to undergo it
  • Understood the benefits of the surgery
  • Taken a second opinion that also indicates the need for a surgery.


Surgery 4


Surgeries are traumatising regardless of what surgery one is undergoing and how good the doctor is. How can one avoid a surgery?

  • Hysterectomy– Menstrual problems like heavy bleeding can we dealt with medicines easily. Simpler procedures like monomyectomy for fibroids, knife free procedures for endometriosis and other lesser invasive procedures are today available for uterine problems and can help avoid surgery.
  • Cardiac procedures– Angioplasties and bypass surgeries have become so common these days. Even for a heart burn doctors tend to misguide the patients that they have a heart problem and first do an angiogram and then say there are blocks and surgery is needed. Instead modifying life style, eating healthy and taking the right medications can help restore cardiac health.
  • Orthopaedic procedures- replacement surgeries are commonly prescribed these days for knee, hip, spine and shoulder problems. Meeting a good physiotherapist and learning the right exercise, losing weight, wearing proper foot wear can all help in avoiding these surgeries.


Surgery 5

 So, your doctor has just broken the news to you that you have a major problem and require surgery and now you are going through that trauma.

Well! Rather than being distressed get up and look around yourself. Second opinion is always there to help you and guide you on your course of treatment.

GrandOpinion ( is a portal which can help you during this time. Just get onto the portal and share your details and reports, let the team of doctors study your case and revert to you. In most cases SecondOpinion has helped to prevent surgeries. A shoulder pain need not be a heart problem, a knee pain does not necessarily call for a replacement and an excessive bleed does not mean hysterectomy. It could just be a red signal for you to stop, slowdown in life and care for yourself. You might just need to modify your life style, diet and exercise or just undergo a minimal non-invasive procedure and you can avoid going under the knife!  GrandOpinion ( can just guide you of a surgery, because surgery is definitely not the only option!





Second opinion – A new beacon of light

Second medical Opinion is quite important for critical illness and diseases. With the rise of medical experiments, new treatment procedures, medical negligence and inaccurate diagnosis, this importance has elevated to another level. Getting a second opinion on illness, patients not only get an access to accurate diagnosis and newer treatment paths but also a different perspective on the illness.

The success and innovations in the medical industry across the world are beyond any shadow of doubts. The infrastructure, quality health services, medical devices, constant research and development in pharmaceuticals etc all lead to the growth of the industry. Constant medical technology innovations head to better clinical outcomes and shorter recovery time. So the question arises- why do patients still seek second medical opinion? Is it lack of trust on the doctor’s diagnosis or is it the lack of relevant information to assimilate or you want to know best options available to tackle with the disease.

Healthcare is the most sought after industry in the world. But with the boom of the healthcare industry, an equal percentage of cases pertaining to medical negligence and wrong diagnosis are coming into the picture. Also we can’t neglect the fact, that corporates run hospitals and issue revenue targets to the doctors. Doctors in turn search for potential candidates (a.k.a patients) to perform unnecessary surgical procedures which ultimately add to the overall revenue of the hospital. There have been numerous instances of doctors mis-diagnosing patients or insisting on unnecessary surgical procedures.

WHO lists Medical misdiagnosis among the top 10 killers in the world. As per British National Health System survey conducted in 2009, 15% of its patients were misdiagnosed. Another report by The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, Diagnostic errors are present across every specialty. For perceptual specialties (like radiology, dermatology) the percentage of error is less than 5% but for other clinical critical specialties the error percent ranges from 10% to 15% in US.

Ashish Dhar and Sachin Shah formed GrandOpinion, a place where anyone can get a second opinion on their medical illness from the industry experts. When one of the founders underwent a similar situation of misdiagnosis in his family, the duo realized the need of any such organizations and thus they wanted to bring about radical change in the way patients interact with their doctors. GrandOpinion use a simple flow “right diagnosis to be made at the right time”.

In India there is a wide spread of ‘white coat syndrome’ i.e.  the doctors are kept on a pedestal by the patients and their families. Most of them blindly follow the instructions without questioning or understanding them. Though this is changing slowly with the advent of internet. But many a time self – medication or self – diagnosis can be dangerous as internet mostly provides us with unnecessary and unauthorized information which may confuse the patient and they may land up to a riskier position.

In the urge of eliminating this risk and providing patients with accurate diagnosis, GrandOpinion got its identity. The company launched its branches in USA, Delhi and in China. Ashish Dhar, Co-founder, GrandOpinion shares “We have created a simple no fuss model which is easy to use for patients and their families. With the help of technology, it is easier to seek opinions for top medical professionals at click of a button without having to travel or spend a lot of money”.

GrandOpinion is for patients who are battling with serious health conditions and in need of immediate second medical diagnosis.  GrandOpinion provide patients a different perspective on their disease, with positivity and a better path towards recovery. Apart from individuals, corporate houses and organizations can invest in this service of Second Opinion as it helps employees get accurate diagnosis from the beginning. GrandOpinion has a virtual clinic which matches patient to doctor who are specialized for a  particular medical condition or disease . This is done to ensure that both patient and doctor are connected on the same level and immediate diagnosis can be given without having to resort to unnecessary repeat tests. Opinions are given on basis of existing test reports and a case coordinator is assigned to keep track of the case. Since all the records and conversations are digitally recorded, it can be accessed anytime from anywhere. All consulting doctors in GrandOpinion are recruited only on basis of recommendation and their research in a particular specialty.

Medical diagnosis varies from one physician to another. By taking a second opinion, one can choose between new options for treatment and can cross verify the original diagnosis and treatment plan. GrandOpinion helps patients and their families to make informed treatment choice and choose a better treatment plan.

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