Frequently asked questions are listed questions and answers.
What To Expect
What To Expect
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment. Sign in at our check-in desk and have a seat while we get you checked-in. Our staff will be working with you on some details that are required for your patient records. For instance, we will ask you to fill out and sign all check-in forms before seeing the doctor. These forms provide necessary information about your insurance, age, occupation, any history of family illnesses, medications, etc. For your benefit and ours, it is necessary to keep the front desk staff informed at all times of any changes in address, telephone numbers, or insurance coverage. Please be assured that any information we ask for is kept strictly confidential.
When your appointment is made you may print the registration forms by opening the PDF file below. Forms can be mailed at your request. Please complete as much information as possible. If questions do not apply to you, print “N/A” in those fields. All forms must be completed when you arrive for your appointment.
Because we sincerely value your time, we strive to stay on schedule so you can see your neurosurgeon within minutes of your arrival. However, sometimes appointment schedules change due to an emergency or prolonged surgery. These occasional circumstances may require rescheduling of all or some of the day’s appointments. The physician may elect to see patients at a later time that day. If you are unable to wait, we will be happy to reschedule your appointment to the earliest time available.
You may speak with a doctor’s secretary, nurse, or physician assistant about your condition, prior tests, and treatment. It is important to be as informative and honest as possible. The support staff works directly with your neurosurgeon to provide you with high-quality care. The information you give will be relayed to the doctor. Our caring staff can explain tests, surgery, and postoperative care. We are easy to reach and happy to address any questions or concerns you might have. We work to give you the finest health care along with courteous, helpful service.
The examination is based on your symptoms, test results, records, and the information you have provided. It is vital that you let your neurosurgeon know your concerns. Too many times a patient leaves a physician’s office with unanswered questions. We want you to fully understand your condition. We’ll also make sure your family doctor is updated on your condition and will share copies of your records.
After the doctor reviews your information and completes the examination, he/she may decide you need more testing. The doctor’s support staff will give you information about the test and schedule it for you. To see a brief description of the most common tests we order, go to TESTS AND PROCEDURES . We will call your insurance company to verify authorization, if necessary. It is also a good idea for you to call your insurance company before the test to verify their authorization
What To Bring
What To Bring
YOUR COMPLETED REGISTRATION FORMS
Be sure to bring your completed patient information forms. Completing these forms before your appointment gives you the time to gather necessary information and shortens your wait.
YOUR CURRENT MEDICATION LIST
Please list all of the medications that you are currently taking and their dosage on your forms. It is vital for us to know exactly what you are taking, how often, its strength, and the name of the physician who prescribed it. Sometimes the pharmacy bottles will provide us with all of this information.
YOUR CURRENT INSURANCE CARDS AND CO-PAY OR COINSURANCE INFORMATION
We scan your insurance card into our system. Please make us aware of any change in your coverage or carrier. Co-pays, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts will be collected before you are seen by the physician. Failure to pay your co-pay or coinsurance will result in a rescheduling of your appointment.
YOUR PHOTO IDENTIFICATION
To help protect you from becoming a victim of Identity theft, our practice will verify the identity of all new and returning patients. Additionally, federal law requires all health care practices to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each patient.
YOUR REFERRAL FROM YOUR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN
If your insurance requires authorization to see a specialist, it is your responsibility to make sure this is sent to our office before your appointment. Your visit will be rescheduled or a wavier must be signed making you responsible for payment if authorization is not obtained before seeing the physician.
BRING ALL MRI AND X-RAY FILMS OR CDs THAT PERTAIN TO YOUR CURRENT ILLNESS
Diagnostic studies are essential for a complete examination. If you have had an MRI, CT, myelogram, arteriogram, or plain x-ray in the last five years, bring the films or CD and reports with you. It is usually necessary to contact the facility where the tests were completed. Ask them to prepare your studies (both films and reports) for you to pick up before the date of your appointment. DO NOT depend on a doctor’s office, courier service, or testing center to send them.
Diagnostic tests, such as blood work, EMG, nerve conduction study, etc., do not use films, but the results are equally important. If you have had a recent test , please bring those reports with you as well.
PLEASE BRING ANY RECORDS FROM YOUR REFERRING PHYSICIAN IF NOT ALREADY PROVIDED
If you have seen another physician about the same condition, it is important that you bring all pertinent medical records with you. It is particularly helpful to bring your doctor’s notes about medications, treatments, physical therapy, test results, etc. If you would like the doctor’s office to fax the notes to us, our fax number is 907.456.3876. Ask them to include a cover sheet with your name, the date of your upcoming appointment, and the name of the physician you will be seeing.
Test & Procedures
Test & Procedures
X-rays are radiation waves that can pass through your body and create images of your internal body organs, tissues and bone. X-rays are an effective way to create images of your bones, skull, and other organs. It is especially useful for looking at bone alignment and detail.
CAT is an abbreviation for computerized axial tomography. A CAT scan is very similar to an x-ray in that the CAT scan uses x-rays to develop 3-D images of your body. It typically shows much better bone detail. It is a much more comprehensive test than standard x-ray because it captures images of your body in slices from many different angles.
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, and it is a very effective way for the Doctor to see inside your body. The MRI scanner is a large donut-shaped piece of equipment that uses a magnet to create clear images of your body. It does this by creating a magnetic field, sending radio waves through your body, and then measuring the response with a computer. The images created by an MRI scanner are generally superior to other imaging methods. MRI gives a much more detailed view of the soft tissues inside your body.
EMG stands for electromyography, and this test is performed to measure the electrical activity of muscles. This is important for determining whether you are having a problem related to specific nerves, the brain, the spinal cord or a particular muscle.
Also known as a Nerve conduction study is a test commonly used to evaluate the function, especially the ability of electrical conduction of the motor and sensory nerves. We use this study mainly for evaluation of paresthesias (numbness, tingling, burning) and/or weakness of the arms and legs. Some of the common disorders which can be diagnosed by nerve conduction studies are Perpheral neuropathy, Carpal tunnel syndrome, and Ulnar neuropathy.
EEG is the abbreviation for electroencephalogram. An EEG test is designed to record brain waves. Brain waves are the electrical activities and signals that the brain creates. Your doctor may order an EEG test to help in diagnosing seizures or cerebral lesions and tumors.
A myelogram is a type of x-ray test. The difference between a myelogram test and a standard x-ray is that, with a myelogram, a dye is injected into the spinal canal to help highlight the spinal cord and nerve roots. The dye shows details of the spinal cord and nerve roots and helps identify abnormalities. This test shows a high level of detail and is helpful in determining the causes of pressure on nerve roots such as a herniated disk, an injury or a tumor. For patients who have metal plates or screws in their spine, a myelogram may be preferable to a standard MRI or CAT scan.
This test helps identify which disks in the spinal column that cause pain. A needle is placed into the spaces between the disks under x-ray guidance, after which dye is injected. A CT scan is then performed.
An angiogram is used to evaluate arteries and veins in the head, neck, and brain. The test involves a doctor inserting a catheter into a major artery in the groin. Once the dye is injected into the artery, x-rays are taken. The test is often used to determine the degree of narrowing of an artery and to detect the location and size of aneurysms and vascular malformations.
EPIDURAL STEROID INJECTION
An epidural steroid injection is performed by positioning a needle between the bones in the middle of the spine and injecting cortisone mixed with a dilute local anesthetic. By injecting into the epidural space, medication can be delivered very close to nerves that are irritated by problems such as ruptured or degenerated disks, bone spurs, narrowing of the spine or nerve openings, and other conditions. The procedure is further identified by the level of the spine at which it is performed such as lumbar (in the lower back) and cervical (in the neck). Today, most epidural injections are fluoroscopically guided, which means the physician is watching the injection using live x-ray, not doing the procedure blind by just feeling the needle.
Microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure performed on patients with a herniated lumbar disc. During this surgery, a surgeon will remove of the inflamation disc to relieve pressure on the spinal nerve column.