Common Misconceptions

Hydronephrosis detected during pregnancy will go away and does not need to be evaluated if

The child passes urine after birth. This is incorrect and has resulted in many children losing kidney function after birth due to repeated undiagnosed urinary infections

If you go to a surgeon, he will advise surgery.

This is not necessarily true. A surgeon is basically a physician with the additional skills of correcting a problem surgically. Do not doubt the motives of your surgeon

One must avoid surgery if the child is not having any problem.

This is not necessarily true. Often, a disease which is silent may be damaging the organs inside and it may be too late by the time symptoms appear. Obstructions in the urinary tract may cause complete loss of function of the kidney without any symptoms whatsoever.

Medicines are always a better option than surgery.

This is not necessarily true. Medicines have their own side effects especially if used over a prolonged period. Also, daily administration of medicines is not always easy as one may forget or the child may be fussy or may vomit it. Also, it every day affirms that there is a problem with the child and this causes certain psychological problems, both for the mother as well as the child.

In olden days, such problems did not exist.

Elderly persons unfamiliar with modern medicine and its miraculous cures may feel that such problems did not exist in the past. This is not necessarily true. Today, detection of diseases has improved remarkably and it is possible to cure these problems before they damage our organs.

Ayurveda or Homeopathy may have medicines which may avoid surgery.

This may be true in only a few rare situations. In the vast majority of situations, mechanical problems need a surgical situation. One’s strong desire to avoid surgery may result in being exploited by those who understand this psychology, while the disease progresses silently.

Surgery on small children is not safe.

It is better to postpone the surgery till the child is older. Today, surgery even in a premature newborn is quite safe. Of course, it is important to have an experienced surgeon and his team as well as to get operated in a place with adequate facilities for surgery as well as for post operative care. Postponing surgery may not necessarily be the correct option. Often, it is more difficult to get the cooperation of an older child.

The child has got this problem because of some fault of the parents.

This is again incorrect most often. Congenital diseases are not necessarily hereditary and there is no need to harbor guilt feelings or feel responsible for the child’s problem.

There is no harm in getting a second opinion.

This is a great misconception. If the person giving a second opinion is not as experienced or knowledgeable as the first, he may give advice that it not in keeping with current state of the art practices. You may end up confused about the right course to be adopted and may actually harm the child.

Extra investigations will not hurt.

Quite often, parents do not mind getting extra investigations which in actuality are unnecessary or even harmful. For e.g. An unnecessary CT scan may cause severe harmful radiation to a small child.

Once you have decided to get surgery done, get it done where it is cheapest or
where someone is willing to manipulate the diagnosis to suit the needs for medical insurance.

If you cannot afford the surgery, it is better to discuss with the surgeon. He may be able to perform it in a place where the costs are lower. Changing the surgeon is not always the best solution. If your Doctor is willing to manipulate the diagnosis to help you claim insurance, how certain can you be that he similarly is not manipulating you. It is important to get treated by a doctor who does not compromise on moral principles.