This girl!

This girl!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Second opinions are worth it.

Second opinions are not only worth it but it's also a right. Sophia has seen a lot (a lot) of doctors in her short life, just in the delivery room there were four doctors from the NICU because we didn't know what to expect. Little by little we were adding specialists to our list: orthopedist, neurologist, ent doctor, audiologist, geneticist, cardiologist (who fortunately we don't see anymore as well as a pulmonologist) and most recently urologist and endocrinologist. We see all these doctors at the same place where Sophia was born, they know her medical history and most of them know her by name.
We never even thought about going to a different hospital, it always seemed like it made sense to have all her health care in one place and what the doctor suggested as treatment always made sense as well. Until now.

Sophia's orthopedist has performed her three hip surgeries. Sophia was born with hip dysplasia and the first surgery, which was done when she was just four months old, was supposed to fix that. But it didn't. A second surgery was done when she was three years old. It didn't work either. I said in a previous post that every time Sophia has a procedure done where she has to go under the anesthesia, she has a hard time keeping things down because of nausea and keeping her oxygen above 90. So when the orthopedist said we need to do a third surgery we had to wonder if we should put her through another surgery.  We wanted to be sure it was necessary. He did say this one was a bit different from the previous ones, but still we were nervous.

Are we going to put her in risk and over and over again? Is is really worth it? How is a third surgery going to affect our daughter?  Is this one going to work? We had these and many more questions to ask.
That's when my husband suggested a second opinion. I never thought about it and I don't know why. It just makes sense, it's my daughter we are talking about. I need to make sure that we are doing the right thing and asking for a second opinion would either confirm that or give us a new way to go.

And so we did. We talked to another doctor from a very prestigious hospital, he read and studied all of Sophia's records and images, he discussed the case with his colleagues and told us that what our orthopedist suggested makes sense and that he didn't think Sophia needed to go to a different place for the procedure. Ok, so he didn't tell us anything new but we needed to hear from a different doctor, besides I feel like this doctor explained a little bit better the cons and the pros and made us feel better about doing the surgery. In the end it's not that we didn't want to fix her dislocation but we wanted to make sure it was the right way to fix it.

So we are doing this! It's going to be hard, for Sophia and for us but we are doing it. We didn't get a different opinion from asking a second opinion and that's ok.  We, as parents, have the right to double check, to doubt and to make sure. It's our right.


  1. It's absolutely OK to get a second opinion. Especially with something as major as surgery, you want to be confident that you are making the right decision. So glad that you feel reassured.

  2. Thank you, yes we do feel better about the decision, it still stinks that she has to have it done though :(

  3. We have gotten second and even third opinions for our daughter's medical needs and also changed therapists as needed. We have been very happy with the orthopedic care at Shriners Hospitals for Children, both in Erie, PA (for scoliosis) and Philadelphia, PA (for hip dysplasia).

    Our daughter receives medical care at a variety of facilities. You can always have records transferred, but to be extra sure, I keep my own copies of the images, reports, etc., and bring them to any new appointments at different facilities.

    All the best to you and your family.

  4. Sometimes hearing the same thing from another person just gives us the confirmation we need. All the best to her!

  5. You should always get a second opinion if a doctor recommends elective (non-emergency) surgery. Also, get the second opinion from a doctor who doesn't operate at the same hospital as the first doctor; otherwise, s(he) is more likely to back up the opinion of the first doctor.

    The doctor you choose should be able to talk to you and explain the procedure and answer any questions.

  6. Doctors spend years
    being trained and educated in their respective fields. However, doctors do make
    mistakes so it is in the best interest of patients to get a second opinion. I used when I felt an MRI I had done was
    misdiagnosed. provided me with a second opinion that turned
    out to be detailed and accurate. I would have had several health problems if I
    had not chosen to use services. I recommend getting a second
    opinion because it can potentially save your life.
    Please watch this recently aired ABC News segment which addresses medical errors and emphasizes the importance of obtaining second opinions:

  7. I think there comes a time in every special needs child's life where we parents just want to say enough is enough. A second and sometimes even a third opinion can really help us come to a decision one way or the other. You were very wise to ask for one!
    I found you through Love that Max!

  8. Claro princesa no siempre uno puede quedarse con una sola opinión y menos cuando estas afectan la vida de las personas que más amamos.

    Estuvo muy bien buscar esta segunda opinión y darse cuenta de que lo que están haciendo va por buen camino que obviamente habrá momentos difíciles pero que a la larga traerán mejores beneficios para Sofi y su vida en general.