If your child has been diagnosed with a complex gastrointestinal disorder, you want to ensure your child is getting the best treatment for his or her specific condition.
CHOP’s Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition has experienced pediatric gastroenterologists and GI surgeons available to consult with you or your physician on second opinion requests. Our nationally ranked GI specialists work with families and referring physicians from all over the country — and around the world — to confirm diagnoses and provide second opinions about treatment and follow-up care for children with complex GI conditions.
Some children who come to us for second opinions may end up being treated here at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; but many will return home for treatment after CHOP clinicians have confirmed the child’s diagnosis and treatment options.
Why seek a second opinion
Both families and physicians may request second opinions for GI conditions at CHOP.
A second opinion from an expert pediatric gastroenterologist can help you better understand your child’s diagnosis, resolve any lingering doubt about the recommended treatment, and offer information about new treatment methods or clinical trials that may be available, but unknown to your physician.
Getting a second opinion can also help you move past the shock of the diagnosis and proceed to treatment for your child.
When to get a second opinion
The best time to get a second opinion is before your child has surgery, starts therapy or during the first few weeks of therapy. Other common times families may seek a second opinion are when a change in treatment has been recommended, or if a relapse has occurred.
Questions to ask during a second opinion consultation
The following questions can help guide your discussion with clinicians during a second-opinion appointment.
- What type of gastrointestinal disorder does my child have?
- How many children with the same condition have you or your program treated?
- What are the treatment choices for the disorder my child has?
- Which treatment do you recommend for my child and why?
- How will this GI condition and its treatment affect the length and quality of my child's life?
- Are there other specialty services (e.g. cardiac, oncology) that will be involved in my child’s care?
- How long will treatment last for my child?
- What are the chances this treatment will be successful and how will we know if it is successful?
- What are the risks of this treatment for my child — both short-term and long-term?
- Are there other treatment approaches are available for my child? What are they?
- Are there any clinical trials my child is a candidate for? What is your experience with those trials?
- What support programs do you offer GI patients and their families?
- Are professionals such as pediatric psychologists, social workers and nutritionists on your staff?
- What resources do you offer to help my child and my family cope with the emotional, financial and physical issues we may experience?
How to request a second opinion at CHOP
To request a second opinion with a physician in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at CHOP, please call 267-426-2270.
Information you’ll need
To help us perform a thorough pediatric GI second-opinion evaluation, we need a full summary of your child's evaluation, treatments and studies up to this point. It’s important for you to provide as much of the following information as possible to allow our expert team to make the best possible second-opinion recommendation for your child.
- Date of birth
- Name of parent/guardian and contact information
- Insurance information
- Your child's physician's name and contact information
- Your child's diagnosis, or working diagnosis, and list of presenting symptoms
- Copy of any existing treatment plan for your child
Before we schedule your child’s second-opinion appointment, we need the following documents sent to us:
- Parent summary. Please provide a few paragraphs about your child’s disease process or download and fill out the Parent Summary Form.
- Growth chart.
- Progress notes from your child's physician.
- List of medications your child is currently prescribed and currently taking — including over-the-counter medications. Please include the medicine name, dosage, frequency, prescribing doctor, pharmacy name and phone number, as well as how long your child has been using this medication.
- Complete clinical summary, including:
- Diagnostic scans (e.g. X-ray, CT, MRI, bone scan, PET scan, MIBG scan), including actual scans or biopsy slides when available.
- Procedure/diagnostic information, such as endoscopy/colonoscopy reports, capsule endoscopy, pathology records, pH probes, manometry, motility studies, breath tests and diet records.
- Laboratory tests, such as complete blood count (CBC), comprehensive metabolic panels, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac panel, thyroid studies and stool studies.
- Any additional radiology tests, including UGI with SBFT, ultrasound, DXA scan, gastric emptying and Sitz marker X-ray.
- Any surgery or operative reports.
- Details of any hospitalizations and discharge summaries.
- Cardiology reports (if applicable).
Where to send documentation
Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Wood Building, 3rd Floor
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104