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.
Current as of: May 4, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Christopher G. Wood MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology & Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine & Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine