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How do you deal with your 11-month old baby being sedated to get an MRI?
I went to the doctor's today for my 11-month old son's shots and check up. She said at first that everything looks good until she measured his head and seemed concerned. She said that his head was too big for his age and his head was the size of a grown kid. She then said he is going to need an MRI to scan his head to make sure everything is all right and that he is going to be sedated while they do it.
Now to be honest I feel that this is all unnecessary just because of the measurement of his head typed into a computer and this is how she came to this conclusion. Does this sound normal?
I'm not a doctor nor in the medical field - but I am a parent. When I was pregnant with my first child, I was told from an ultrasound years ago that my daughter's head was too large and it meant she was likely hydrocephalic.
We got a second opinion - thankfully - and she was born perfect normal and just turned 30.
My point is get a second opinion. It can't hurt and the sedation would worry me. Why go through that if there is no need. I would get an appointment with a good pediatrician for the second opinion - good luck - the picture is adorable.
Also a parent here that's been through many medical issues with my kids along the way. Always trust your instinct and get another opinion if something seems off. The original recommendation may still end up being the route you take, but you may find someone else that you would trust to explain it better to you and not leave you feeling like you're in the dark. I don't have specific advice about the head size. All my best.
An MRI is not going to hurt your little kid. My oldest grandson's head was a little big for his age and the doc recommended the same thing. He was fine, but it was nice to know for sure -- especially since my granddaughter was later diagnosed with a brain tumor. She has MRIs all the time and she didn't get the tumor from those. We love it when she gets an MRI and we hear that the tumor is shrinking. If there was a problem later with your child, you would hate yourself for not getting it done. I do not see how you will be able to avoid it now. Most likely everything will be fine and you can put it behind you.
You are asking two questions:
1) Is this necessary? Maybe, maybe not. If your child's head has always been big (this should have been measured all along) and is growing proportionately, then your health care provider may be overreacting. My son has a big head (> 95th percentile). Guess what? I have a big head. My husband has a big head. We're both > 95th percentile. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. So maybe the doctor needs to look at the heads of you and the father of the child, if that is possible. If you are uncomfortable with this, you can always ask for a referral to a specialty clinic or children's hospital. There are medical problems that can cause changes in the skull size and it's okay for you to have more knowledge before you agree to this.
2) MRI sedation--yes, as a parent, it is uncomfortable to have your child sedated. Ask questions--who is doing the sedation, what is their experience with children--and if you are not getting answers that help you, try a larger hospital with a pediatric wing or a children's hospital. The reason that your child will have to be sedated is that he will need to hold very still. The MRI scan machine is very noisy and any movement ruins the images.
Finally--that is one cute baby boy!
Oh, Bianca - my heart goes out to you. It is so very hard to have any medical procedure performed, especially under sedation. My own son has had two sedated brain MRI's: the first at the age of one because of his congenital hearing loss (to rule out a tumor as the cause) and the second at the age of two-and-a-half because of severe central apnea (he would suddenly stop breathing and his oxygen levels would go down). The MRI's went off without a hitch, though there is always anxiety when they have to be sedated.
It is never a bad idea to get a second opinion, though doctors usually only order an MRI when the benefits outweigh the risks. While there are other ways to detect hydrocephalus (via ultrasound, for example), the MRI is able to see all of the soft tissue within the brain - this means the doctors can definitively rule out various issues. If there is a problem, it is always better to treat it proactively to prevent further issues down the road. If the MRI comes out clear, you can rest assured that his head size is normal for him.
Sending hugs to you!
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