Understand your goals for the surgery. A surgeon’s definition of success may not be the same as the patient’s. That is why I think it very important that patients should consider a second opinion. There may be financial concerns when getting a second opinion. A physician that takes time to counsel, in detail, and explore the goals of the patient may not be a provider for that particular patient’s insurance plan. You will need to decide if you can afford the expense. The time and money spent with a physician who will take the time to define the goals of the patient and explore the options may be beneficial. A valuable spine surgery second opinion will give you peace of mind, or will enable a person to make the decision on whether the goals of the surgery is achievable, both by the surgeon and the patient.