Expert opinion and online consultations on a wide range of diseases and conditions available on your computer or any mobile device.
What can a radiology 2nd opinion offer you?
An expert review of imaging studies helps to obtain a more accurate and comprehensive description of radiology exams. It can reveal important details missing in the original report and ensure the timely detection of a dangerous disorder. It may also be useful to decide between conflicting interpretations of the same tests. In general, it is a way to verify or confirm the conclusions from the imaging diagnostic which play a key role in therapy planning.
When might a remote radiology consultation be helpful?
A second opinion about radiology tests is a good option if:
- you need a more detailed explanation of your study results;
- you doubt that the original readings are correct;
- the original findings seem to contradict the symptoms;
- specialists with expertise in a particular field are not available in your health care facility;
- it takes too long to obtain a written report from the clinic where the scans were made;
- major surgery or treatment is recommended on the basis of the imaging exam.
Which issues need a second opinion from an expert radiologist?
A reevaluation of imaging diagnostics is reasonable for a great number of conditions, either existing, or suspected. They include brain neoplasms, vascular conditions (stenoses, aneurysms, malformations), injuries and diseases of bones and joints; primary malignant tumors (e.g. of the lungs, kidneys or liver) as well as advanced stages of oncologic diseases.
While considering a radiology second opinion, it is advisable to look for an expert with major experience in the subspecialty dealing with your particular issue. There are about 11 radiology branches (abdominal, cardiac, thoracic, etc.) corresponding to different sections or systems of a human body. Professional radiology second opinion services point out that a physician with perfect knowledge of the musculoskeletal organs might not be particularly good at reading brain scans or mammograms. So the narrow fields of radiology expertise should always be taken into account when you seek an expert to reevaluate your imaging scans.
What is the outcome of a radiology second opinion?
Your consulting doctor will provide a written report on the scans. Usually it can feature:
- a thorough description of images;
- a reference to suspicious and/or abnormal findings with conclusions about their possible nature;
- assessment of any notable progress as compared to the earlier data if provided;
- a summary including conclusions and recommendations.
As a rule, diagnostic radiologists do not prescribe therapies. However, they can prove or disprove a diagnosis, help to avoid unnecessary surgery or advise additional examinations. On the whole the information obtained from a radiology second opinion helps to make conscious decisions and gives you peace of mind.
Is it always possible to reevaluate imaging scans?
Review of radiologic data is generally impossible if the images are damaged or lack precision. A radiology second opinion may not be worthwhile if the examination was performed with a violation of relevant technical requirements (positioning, use of a contrast agent, etc.). As a rule, there is no point in interpreting the results of examinations if their diagnostic value has expired (i.e. they were performed too long ago). An exception is when physicians need to assess changes in findings within a certain period of time.
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Radiology exams are very important for clinical decision making. With teleradiology, the accuracy of interpretation of such data can be improved by bringing in a third-party expert for primary or secondary evaluation. Practice shows that such "remote" radiology has obvious advantages, but some nuances must be taken into account if you want to get the best results. In fact, the effectiveness of a second opinion depends not only on the technical quality, but also on the completeness of medical data provided in addition to the images.