Getting a Second Opinion / Changing Cardiac Unit

The majority of people will be quite happy with the treatment received from the cardiac unit they are first sent to and will have no wish to consider another unit at least until the young person needs to transfer to adult services.  For a few families, however, a change of location or specific concerns about their child's treatment may encourage them to look at another cardiac unit.

Second Opinions

Why might you want a second opinion?

Getting a second opinion

Everyone is entitled to a second opinion about the diagnosis and treatment of a medical condition, so as a parent or guardian you have the right to ask for this (despite what you may initially be told).

There are a number of ways to go about it depending mainly on which is most comfortable for you given your reasons for the request.

Although you could see a different consultant at the same unit, the chances are that you would prefer to see a doctor from a different hospital who can give an independent opinion.  You may want to do a bit of research into the different units in order to request referral to a specific one.  This might be based on locality, experience with a particular defect or recommendation - this will probably depend at least partly on your reason for asking for a second opinion.

What happens afterwards?

After the meeting with the new cardiologist you have a number of options:

Things to consider before getting a second opinion

Changing Units

Why might you want to change unit?

If you are moving to another area you may well wish to consider changing cardiac unit although some families are happy to continue at the same unit if their child is well and they have infrequent appointments.

Or it may be that your child has other medical problems for which they visit a different hospital and you would like to arrange for all their treatment to be at one hospital.

Finding a new unit

You will need to do some research to find which unit fits your requirements.

It may well be that your current cardiologist can recommend a colleague in a unit close to your new home or a hospital that can treat all of your child's medical problems in one location.

Whatever your reason for looking at a new unit, the Down's Heart Group can provide you with information about different units and put you in touch with parents whose children are patients at your chosen unit.