Questions to Ask the Doctor

MAKING THE FIRST MOVE

Many families that have tried to get information and diagnoses in the early stages have found it difficult due to the lack of knowledge on the doctor’s behalf. The first important step is to know where to go to get the appropriate help. The earlier the diagnosis the better the chance of a full and successful recovery.

1. Initially you should contact your local GP and ask for an appointment as soon as possible. If you are told that it will take a week and you are not comfortable with this be persistent and ensure you are given an earlier appointment. It might be a good idea to ask the receptionist to enquire with the doctor what you should watch out for until your appointment date.

2. Once you have seen you local GP they sometimes prefer to refer your case to a Consultant Paediatrician or Dermatologist or even straight to a Birthmark Specialist. Try to be referred directly to a Birthmark Specialist as it is important that the diagnosis is done as soon as possible. Please remember that if they choose not to refer you to anyone that you can ask for a second opinion.

3. And lastly if you are referred by a Consultant Paediatrician or Dermatologist and you are not happy with the prognosis you can still ask for a referral to a Birthmark Specialist.

The questions that should be asked are as follows:

1. Have you any before and after photo’s of patients that you have treated?

2. Are there any patients local to you that he has treated that you could contact?

3. Ask him to determine what type of birthmark your child has.

4. Have you treated many vascular lesions in the past and if so how many?

5. Are there any tests that should be done to see if there are any syndromes related to the birthmark?

6. What treatment options are available, or could be considered for your child, and are there any side effects or risks to watch for with these treatments?

7. If there are side effect, or risks what can you do to help minimize them?

8. Are there any tests to be done like for example an MRI.

9. What can you do to help stop the pain your child may be experiencing?

10. If surgery is the option that you decide to take ask how often the surgery will take place i.e. once a week, once a month?

11. Once surgery is complete how often will he evaluate your child’s progress? And will he be taking photo’s to monitor the progress?

12. Will he be available at a later date for questions or concerns that you may have?