Learn more about what is involved in surgery to make a decision that’s right for you.

Whether or not to have surgery is a very personal decision. The more you know, the better able you will be to make the decision that’s right for you.

The possibility of a surgical remedy to your condition will likely come up in discussion with your family doctor. There may be other alternatives to consider too, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Being referred to a surgeon

If surgery is being considered, your family doctor will refer you to a surgeon for a consultation. This is another opportunity for you to learn more about your condition, options and the potential risks and benefits of having surgery.

Getting a second opinion

Some patients feel as though they are betraying the surgeon they’ve already seen by seeking another point of view, but you do have the right to ask for a second opinion.

Getting a second opinion may be particularly important to you if you are considering major surgery, if you feel that your questions about the procedure are not being answered, or if you feel your goals and the goals of your surgeon are not the same. For example, if you are trying to avoid surgery and are seeking alternatives to the procedure, and your surgeon insists that surgery is the only option, you should seek a second opinion.

If you want a second opinion, ask your family doctor to make a referral to a different surgeon for a consultation appointment.


Find printable handouts to review and take with you when you see your family doctor or a surgeon.

Frequently asked questions

Understand more about your surgery by visiting our frequently asked questions section.