Craniosynostosis and Cranial Reconstruction Center
Second Opinions

Craniosynostosis Second Opinions

Cincinnati Children’s provides second opinions for all types of craniosynostosis and cranial malformations. With over three decades of experience treating these conditions, we’ll find the best option for your child. For certain patients, our team can provide minimally invasive (endoscopic) surgery options.

Why Get a Second Opinion for Craniosynostosis Treatment?

Getting a second opinion for craniosynostosis treatment is a normal process for many families. Second opinions can open the door to surgeries that may not be available at other hospitals, such as minimally invasive procedures. It can also help you better understand all the treatment options available, so you can make a more informed decision about what’s best for your child.

In addition to our craniosynostosis expertise, our surgeons have a long history of performing minimally invasive (endoscopic) procedures. We perform these surgeries regularly — approximately half of our surgeries are minimally invasive — which means we have the expertise to do these procedures safely and successfully.

What Can I Expect During the Second Opinion Process?

The second opinion process starts with a referral. You can refer yourself by using our online contact form or by calling us. Your pediatrician can also refer you for a second opinion.

When you reach out to us for a second opinion, we will review your child’s medical history and any imaging tests you’ve had done. Our dedicated nurse coordinator will then schedule you for a visit with our co-surgeon clinic. If we need additional tests or images before your appointment, our nurse coordinator will work with you to plan those as well.

During the co-surgeon clinic, you’ll meet with our neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon at the same time. We’ll examine your child and listen to any questions or concerns you may have. The surgeons will walk through the diagnosis in detail and discuss potential treatment options.

In most cases, you’ll leave this appointment with a detailed treatment plan and what to expect for follow-up care and recovery. Our nurse coordinator will also make sure all your child’s surgery appointments are scheduled, including pre-surgery blood tests and imaging.

Throughout your child’s treatment we will work closely with your pediatrician, so you don’t have to worry about managing any doctor-to-doctor communications.

Will Insurance Cover My Second Opinion?

While many insurance plans cover second opinions, exact coverage varies for every case. It’s important to talk to your insurance provider before your appointment to determine your coverage for second opinions, so you know what to expect.

Cincinnati Children’s also has a precertification team who will contact your insurance provider before your appointment to check on coverage for tests and second opinions. If there are any gaps in coverage, we will be sure to reach out to you and provide more information before your appointment.

Do I Need to Bring Anything with Me to the Appointment?

You will only need to bring your photo ID and insurance card to your second opinion appointment. We will work with you to make sure we gather all your medical records, scans and test results before you arrive.

How Do I Start the Process of Getting a Second Opinion?

There are a few different ways you can start the second opinion process:

  • Ask your doctor for a referral – Your pediatrician can reach out to the Cincinnati Children’s Craniosynostosis and Cranial Reconstruction Center to start the second opinion process.
  • Contact our center directly – You can fill out our online contact form. Our nurse coordinator will follow up with you as soon as possible and collect your information and start the process of getting you into our co-surgeon clinic.

Can I get a second opinion without traveling to Cincinnati?

Yes. Online second opinions are available to families and patients outside the Greater Cincinnati area (southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky and southeast Indiana). A specialist from the team will review your case and answer specific questions about a diagnosis or treatment options. It’s easy, convenient, and secure. Our case manager will collect your medical records and guide you through the process.

Online second opinions are different than telehealth video visits. Our physician reviews your existing medical records and focuses on the questions you already gave us. As a result, online second opinions don’t need a video or phone call. Your second opinion report includes our physician’s written opinion about that medical condition, diagnosis or treatment plan.

Online second opinions are typically not covered by insurance and cost $850. There may be additional fees if a radiology or pathology specialist needs to review your records. The program is not available in all areas or for every patient, we will work with you to make sure it’s appropriate for you.