What can I expect on my first visit? Your first visit to our office is very important in your care. Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms, perform a physical exam, and study any films you have such as an MRI, Myelogram, or X-ray. He will then decide what should be the next step in your course of treatment. Sometimes, that means further testing, which he will order and one of our Patient Care Coordinators will schedule. He may order some type of conservative treatment, such as physical therapy or spinal blocks, or he may recommend that you proceed with surgery. If he does not feel that you have a surgical condition, he will refer you to another physician specializing in non-surgical treatment of the spine.
What should I bring to my appointment? If you are a new patient, you have probably received some paperwork in the mail. Please have this paperwork filled out and bring it to your first appointment. Each time you come, it is also very important that you bring any radiological films and reports, such as MRI, Myelogram, CT or x-ray with you for the doctor to review. You will also need to have your insurance card, drivers license, and insurance co-pay ready when you sign in at our front desk.
Why does my physician need my films and reports for my office visit? Along with your exam, your neurosurgeon will scrutinize your films to determine your diagnosis. He will also review the radiologist's written report to be thorough. Therefore, both pieces of the puzzle are required to give you the best possible medical treatment.
When and how will I get my test results? It generally takes 2-4 business days for our office to receive your films and written report from the radiologist. Once your results are received, our Patient Care Coordinators will give your chart and results to your physician. Sometimes, due to surgical emergencies, your physician may not be in the office the day the test results are received. Once he has reviewed all of your results, along with your last exam, either he or one of our staff will contact you to explain your results and his recommendations.
If surgery is recommended, when and where will it take place? Our physicians perform surgery at St. Vincent's Hospital. The majority of outpatient surgeries are done at our Outpatient Surgery Center located in the North Tower of St. Vincent's Hospital. Once surgery is recommended, one of our Surgery Coordinators will coordinate a surgery date with you. She will give you information concerning what to do prior to surgery, where to go, what time to be there, and answer any other questions you may have.
What do I do if I need a refill of my medication? It is best to speak to your physician about your medications while you are in the office. If you need a refill of a medication before your next appointment, please call our office. One of our friendly receptionists will transfer you to the Prescription Line where you can leave any pertinent information. Our nurse reviews Prescription Line Messages frequently throughout the day, and will phone in any refills once she has obtained approval from your physician. Please check with your pharmacy later in the day to see if your prescription has been phoned in.
What do I do if I have a problem after hours? Our practice has a physician on-call any time our office is closed. To reach the On-Call Physician, simply dial our regular office number. An operator will direct your message to the appropriate physician as soon as possible.