Getting a Second Opinion

What is a second opinion?

Getting a second opinion is a process of asking a doctor, other than the one currently in charge of your treatment, for an opinion about your symptoms and treatment.

When should I ask for a second opinion?

  1. When you are anxious about what to do after having had your diagnosis and treatment plan explained by your doctor.

  2. When several treatment plans are suggested but you can’t be sure about which one to choose.

  3. When you wonder if there is another option about your treatment plan.

What should I do to get a second opinion?

Documents required would vary depending on which hospital you go to, but in most cases, a letter of introduction with radiographs,CT images etc. for reviewing will be needed. This is because choice of treatment will depend on the current state of your disease, which includes the history of your treatments as well as the current symptoms. Doctors need to have them as objective medical information in order to make a right choice. Although getting a second opinion will remain as “a medical examination” which does not go beyond “consultation,” additional checks might be required as diagnoses should be as accurate as possible.

What will be the impacts of getting a second opinion?

  1. You will be able to know for sure that the current diagnosis and treatment plans are right ones.

  2. You will be happier about the current treatment plans than before, as you will be able to learn that the plans are the most applicable ones.

  3. You might have a chance to learn about options about your treatment plan.

Note: At the SCC, we will be pleased to introduce another doctor in the hospital or to prepare letters of introduction as well as materials for reviewing for doctors at other medical institutions upon requests by patients and their families.

How can I get a second opinion at the SCC?

At the SCC, a specialist in the field of your disease will discuss the case with you and your family (or your proxy) in person to give you a second opinion. You will have to make an appointment in advance to have this session. Please note that getting a second opinion is not “a regular medical examination” but “a consultation with a specialist.” After you get a second opinion, please bring it to your doctor and discuss the treatment plans with him/her. If and when you wish to be examined at the SCC, please proceed to make an appointment at the Appointment Center.

What do I need to prepare in order to get a second opinion at the SCC?

  1. Letter of introduction from your doctor who is currently in charge of your treatment (a.k.a. medical information provision document); it provides information about the current symptoms, diagnosis and the treatment history.

  2. Data of medical examination, including results of CT, MRI, echography, pathology tests, etc.; you should ask your doctor to let you have it temporarily for this purpose.

What will the actual process be in order to get a second opinion at the SCC?

  1. Tell your doctor that you want to get a second opinion, and ask him/her to provide you with a letter of introduction and materials including your test results to be reviewed.

  2. Call the Appointment Center at the SCC to make an appointment. Those who can’t speak Japanese should find interpreters themselves to be accompanied with.

Appointment Center: 055-989-5680
(Open from 8:30 to 17:00 on weekdays only.)

An appointment can also be made directly from the medical institution that currently gives you treatment at the number below.

Medical Coordination Room: 055-989-5646

Note: When you call the Appointment Center, you should make it clear that you would like to get a second opinion at the SCC.  When your family member or proxy calls, he/she will have to tell them so.

How much does it cost to get a second opinion at the SCC?

Getting a second opinion is not covered by medical insurances. In principle, it costs 14,000 yen, including tax, for a session of 30 minutes.

Will there be any additional charges?

Yes, in case you need to take additional tests when they are considered as necessary in order to give you an accurate second opinion. Also, when you ask our pathologists to examine your pathological specimen provided from other medical institutions, 7,000 yen, including tax, will be charged in addition.

What should be done when I can’t visit the SCC to get a second opinion myself?

When your family member or your proxy visits the SCC to get a second opinion for you, a signed Letter of Consent will be required. Without bringing this Letter of Consent signed and designated by patient, a second opinion will never be given.


  1. Getting a second opinion does not include consultations for medical malpractice or lawsuit cases.

  2. In case your family member or your proxy would like to have a consultation about moving you to the SCC, the same process as getting a second opinion should be taken.

For any inquiries about second opinion, please call the Appointment Center at 055-989-5680.