Having surgery, regardless of the reason, is a major decision. If one doctor recommends surgery, it's your job as an empowered patient to understand why that's the recommendation. If you are not comfortable with that treatment plan, it's time to explore other options.
We advocated for a 70-year-old patient several months ago who was diagnosed at a small community hospital with bladder cancer. He sought treatment at an academic medical center where the recommendation was a very complex and difficult surgery, removing his bladder, diverting his urine through external tubes, etc. Together, we asked if there were any non-surgical treatment options. The oncologist answered, "Well, there is a facility that offers radiation and chemo as treatment, but we do surgery here." We asked if he would be receptive to perhaps speaking with his colleague and exploring the non-surgical treatment. He agreed and one week later, we sat in his office as he explained that he had gotten the chemo and radiation protocol from his colleague and would be happy to non-surgically treat the patient.
Two years later, our patient remains cancer-free and still has his bladder. Had it not been for a candid conversation with the first oncologist that would not have been possible.
The moral of the story? Speak up. Get a second opinion. You may not need or require the surgery after all.