2nd opinion? and how?

Hi, my dad was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer 3 weeks ago and scans showed that it was localised and not spread/attached to anything. He was offered surgery (albeit risky due to history of COPD) with a 90% chance of success. However, the anaesthetist has refused the surgery due to the COPD despite my dad passing all the exercise/fitness tests.

My question is: can he get a 2nd opinion - if so how? As he has now only been offered radiotherapy with a 20-30% success rate.



  • Hello Donna,

    Thanks for getting in-touch.

    I know it is disappointing when the anaesthetist has assessed your dad as not being suitable for a general anaesthetic for surgery for the oesophageal cancer.

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may cause patients to suffer complications with their breathing during or after the operation, affecting recovery. The anaesthetist will have taken into account your dad’s general health as well as his health conditions to assess the overall potential benefit of the anaesthetic against the potential risks to his health.

    To get a second opinion your dad can either have a chat with his GP and ask for a referral to another team or ask his team at the hospital to do this for him. Often there can be a delay in starting treatment until this process is completed.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Best wishes and take care

    Lorraine-Macmillan Information Nurse