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Spina Bifida Clinic

The following common questions offer a general overview of what to expect when it comes to visiting the Spina Bifida Clinic.

How Can I Prepare for My Child’s First Visit to the Spina Bifida Clinic?

The best way you can prepare for your child’s first visit is to gather any records your child has from another spina bifida clinic or hospital (if applicable). We also need copies of any previous MRIs. To get these records, you’ll need to complete and send the Authorization for Release of Protected Health Information form to the facility that has your records.

The facility should be able to provide your records in one of these formats:

  • Electronically through a program called PowerShare
  • A disc sent directly to our clinic
  • A disc that you to bring to your clinic visit at Phoenix Children’s

Our clinic coordinator is here to help you get any records you need.

How Long Does the First Visit Last?

The first visit typically lasts four to five hours, from about 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

How Often Should My Child Come to the Clinic?

We typically see infants at around 3 months of age and then again at 12 months of age. After your first visit, you should plan to visit the clinic once each year for a full checkup.

What Should I Bring to Each Visit?

For all visits, please bring any equipment your child uses for movement, such as braces, wheelchair, crutches, walker and gait trainer. It’s important to bring the equipment even if you think it is broken or too small, so we can determine if your child needs new equipment.

If you have any medical records or imaging that you have not provided to the clinic, please bring them with you.

Does My Child Need Imaging or Labs Done Before the Annual Visit?

Your child will likely need to have imaging, labs or both before every annual visit. It is very important to complete any requested imaging or labs before your scheduled annual visit. If you’re not sure what imaging or labs you need, contact our clinic coordinator.

Imaging may include a renal ultrasound, abdominal X-ray, or MRI of the brain or spine. If your child needs an MRI, and especially if they require sedation, make sure you schedule the MRI 4–8 weeks before your annual visit.

What Should I Do if I Need to Cancel or Reschedule the Visit?

If you need to cancel your visit, we ask that you give us as much notice as possible since we only have a limited number of openings for clinic visits. We appreciate you letting us know at least a week before your appointment (or at a minimum, 24 hours before your appointment).  

Are There any COVID-19 Restrictions that Apply?

COVID-19 restrictions vary according to community spread. Learn more from our COVID-19 Resource Center.  

How Do I Access My Child’s Records?

One of the easiest ways to access your child’s records is to use the Patient Portal. View discharge instructions, find summaries of your visit, request copies of medical records and more.

What if I have Questions After I Leave the Clinic?

If you have questions, first contact our clinic coordinator at 602-933-3517. You can also use the Patient Portal to access your records or email your providers.

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