Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Second Opinions

Second Opinions for Children with IBD

Families travel to the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center at Cincinnati Children’s from all over the country seeking a second opinion about their child’s IBD care. Our second opinion service is very helpful for families who:

  • Want to confirm that their child has IBD
  • Want to discuss their child’s current treatment plan and see if there are more effective strategies available
  • Want to talk about the potential risks and benefits of surgery
  • Are considering transferring their child’s IBD care to Cincinnati Children’s

We offer a comprehensive evaluation that typically lasts two days. Your child:

  • Will see one of our pediatric gastroenterologists who specializes in IBD
  • May see other providers, such as an immunologist, colorectal surgeon or psychologist
  • Will talk to other members of the team, such as our registered dietitian and social worker
  • May undergo imaging tests and/or endoscopy

At the end of the visit, the team will meet with your family and provide a clear, unified treatment recommendation. They will answer any questions you have as you think about the next steps in your child’s care.

Getting Started

Our second opinion coordinator, Kelly Boyer, serves as the main point of contact for families seeking a second opinion. She is here to explain how the clinic works and answer your questions. You can reach Kelly by phone at 513-636-8160, email at, or through our online contact form. Kelly will get back to you within one to two business days.

Before your child’s second opinion visit, Kelly will talk to you about your child’s medical history and collect records from other institutions where your child has received care. She will create a detailed schedule based on your child’s individual needs. If you’re traveling to Cincinnati for the evaluation, Kelly can connect you with the hospital’s concierge service for assistance with travel and lodging considerations. The goal is to make your visit as efficient, effective and productive as possible.

If you are considering a second opinion, we encourage you to talk to your child’s primary gastroenterologist and ask for a referral. However, a referral is not necessary unless your insurance plan requires it.

Q&A with Kelly Boyer, Second Opinion Coordinator at the IBD Center

We asked Kelly to answer some of the most common questions she hears from parents considering getting a second opinion at the Cincinnati Children’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center.

How can a second opinion help my child?

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are complex conditions that require personalized care from specialists who treat kids with IBD every day. Our physicians and other IBD providers have so much experience, and they are involved in research at the national level. Families find that a second opinion from our team is very reassuring. They go home with detailed information that can give them peace of mind as they decide how to move forward with their child’s care.

What will my child’s second opinion visit involve?

Your child will see one of our pediatric gastroenterologists and other providers, such as a colorectal surgeon, psychologist, registered dietitian and social worker. They also may need to have testing during their second opinion visit.

After all of the appointments and tests, the team will meet to develop a unified treatment recommendation. They’ll share this recommendation with you and send it to your child’s primary gastroenterologist or primary care provider as well.

Do I need to bring anything with me?

Be sure to bring all your child’s prior imaging (CT, MRI, X-ray) on a disc. I will collect previous test results and care records, so you don’t have to worry about that.

I always encourage parents to come prepared with a list of questions. It helps to think about your goals for the visit — whether it’s simply to gather more information, learn about a specific therapy or talk about surgical options. We want you to get the most out of your appointment and have the best experience possible at Cincinnati Children’s. Coming in prepared helps make that happen.

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 Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center 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.