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Essential Questions you ask your Pedia Cardiologist before heart surgery

January 15, 2021

The first time I heard there was something wrong with my child's heart, my mind went blank. I cannot seem to move on. It was the scariest thing I have ever heard in my life.

I began researching and reading everything I see online - diagnosis, prognosis, survival rates, treatment options, second opinions, hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, specialists, outcomes, long-term care. It was overwhelming and filled me with several emotions.

Because the surgeon is in Manila, a flight away from Cebu, I did not have the luxury to visit often. I found it easy to list down possible questions just so I won't forget to ask them when I see the doctor.

Here is a list of essential questions to ask:

  1. Is there other diagnostic labs needed to be done to better determine my child's heart case?

  2. What could have caused this condition? Is it something I could have taken during pregnancy? These were something I needed to ask for myself and for my husband. I did not want to be in a blame game.

  3. Why this recommended treatment or procedure? What will happen?

  4. What are the potential risks of this surgery? At what age should it be done?

  5. What are the potential risks?

  6. Which hospital are we doing the procedure? Is this the best hospital? How much will it cost?

  7. Are there any more procedures and treatments after this?

  8. Are there long-term side effects of the surgery? Are there limitations on his growth and development, and limitations on things he might want to do?

  9. What happens if my kid does not get surgery? How long will he survive in his current condition?

[The next questions are a little bit offensive but might depend on how you say it]

  1. How many times has the hospital performed this treatment each year? What is the survival rate?

  2. What is your medical background? How long have you been doing procedures like this? Where did you train?

  3. How many times has the surgeon and medical team performed this treatment each year? What is the survival rate?

There are other questions available in the internet. However, most of the questions are not applicable in the Philippines. There is still value if you read them, though. So please go ahead and search questions to ask child's cardiologist.


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