Watchful waiting

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Watchful waiting is a wait-and-see approach to treatment. You may have regular checkups and tests, but you won't have treatment unless your condition or symptoms get worse. Watchful waiting may be an option for conditions that progress slowly or that may improve on their own. It lets you avoid or postpone treatments that may have more risks than benefits.

Watchful waiting may also be called active surveillance, observation, or expectant management.




The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.