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How does a parent determine who the best surgeon is for their child, especially if they don't have a medical background?

You want to find a surgeon that genuinely cares about your child. He or she should be a partner, who helps you get the best care possible for your child. Be wary of any doctor who discourages second opinions. Ask if you can speak with other families, who have children with conditions similar to your own child’s condition and that have been treated by that surgeon. You can also check for internet chat rooms to find other families with children who have the same condition as your child, and learn about their experiences concerning a particular surgeon or medical center.

»» Click here to read information about “How to choose a doctor”

What is the best age to perform the surgery that has been recommended? How long can the operation be safely delayed and what problems can happen if we delay?

This question can help you to understand the urgency of your child’s condition. In the case of very young children, sometimes if doctors wait a little longer to operate, later operations may be avoided. If your child’s condition doesn’t seem urgent to you but the surgeon is recommending immediate surgery, try to understand the cause for urgency and consider a quick second opinion.

Do you use fellowship trained pediatric anesthesiologists? Is anesthesiology safe?

Pediatric Anesthesiologists at VCU Medical Center provide the only dedicated 24/7 Pediatric Anesthesia team in the community. Each member of the division is fellowship trained in pediatric anesthesiology and all have considerable experience in managing pediatric surgical patients.