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Questions to Ask Your Doctor | Overview

You and your family play an essential role in your child’s treatment for cardiomyopathy. It’s important that you share your observations and ideas with your child’s treating physician, and that you have all the information you need to fully understand the treatment team’s explanations and recommendations.  Family history is a vital component of evaluating patients with cardiomyopathy and gathering as much information as possible, including calling family members for more information before seeing your doctor, will help with the evaluation.

You’ve probably thought of many questions to ask about your child’s cardiomyopathy. It’s often very helpful to jot down your thoughts and questions ahead of time and bring them with you, along with a notebook, to your child’s appointment. That way, you will have all of your questions in front of you when you meet with your child’s treating clinician and can make notes to take home with you. (If your child is old enough, you can encourage him or her to write down questions, too.)
Initial questions to ask your doctor might include: 

  • What type of cardiomyopathy does my child have?
  • How did you arrive at this diagnosis?
  • Are there any other conditions my child might have instead?
  • Does my child require further testing or procedures?
  • Is this form of cardiomyopathy genetic?  Should family members also get tested?
  • What is my child’s prognosis?
  • What medications will you prescribe?
  • What are the possible side effects of these medications?
  • Will my child need a pacemaker or defibrillator?
  • Will my child need surgery or a heart transplant?
  • What role should I play in my child’s treatment?
  • How should I talk to my child about this condition and the long-term outlook?
  • How should I explain my child’s condition to others?
  • Do I need to restrict my child’s physical activity?
  • Do I need to make any other changes to my child’s home and school routines?
  • What other resources can you point me to for more information?