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Following check-in by our receptionist and a short wait, you will be taken to the treatment or examining room where a nurse will weigh you and obtain temperature, pulse and blood pressure. Following this, the nurse will take a careful history, which will include family history, smoking, alcohol and illicit drug use. This, as well as all information about you, both medical and financial, will be kept in the strictest confidence.
Additionally, a “review of systems” will include questions regarding organ systems that may not appear related to the condition bringing you to the office. However, these are necessary for an overall assessment and/or may be relevant to determining treatment—surgical or otherwise.
You may also be asked questions relating to screening tests for Early Disease Detection, (colonoscopy for colon cancer, mammograms for breast cancer, simple TSH blood test for thyroid malfunction) as well as questions relating to Disease Prevention (e.g. low fat diet, adequate fiber, exercise, smoking cessation, salt moderation, etc.). These are also issues you may want to ask the surgeon about when he or she is finishing his review of your current condition and has examined you.
Following the surgeon’s examination, you may or may not go to his or her office for an in-depth discussion of your condition and any treatment options—surgical or otherwise. Relatively simple operations or procedures may require little further discussion and can be scheduled promptly depending on your preference.
More complicated issues may require considerable discussion and you may want to take some time to think things over and discuss them with family at home. We don’t want you to feel rushed or pressured, especially for elective surgery. There are usually several treatments (operative and/or non-operative) for most conditions.
The following is a partial listing of procedures or operations that are done in our office (almost never on the day of your initial appointment unless for a “simple” emergency, i.e. drainage of a superficial abscess).
• Screening sigmoidoscopy
• Ultrasound examination of the breast
• Needle aspiration of breast cyst
• Needle biopsy of some breast and thyroid lumps
• Minimally invasive surgery and/or injection of varicose veins
• Rubber banding of hemorrhoids
• Excision of single acutely painful prolapsing hemorrhoids
• Excision of cancerous and non-cancerous skin tumors
If surgery is decided upon and is not “an office procedure,” it will be scheduled at either Surgicare or Onslow Memorial Hospital depending on-
1. Insurance issues
2. Magnitude of procedure
3. Anticipated need for overnight or longer stay
4. Your overall medical condition
More and more, operations can safely be performed on an outpatient basis. We will do our best to arrange your surgery to your satisfaction. If you have any strong feelings or important questions about a procedure, please ask your surgeon.
Because of insurance and other issues, the scheduling of surgery is sometimes a fairly time-consuming procedure and you should allow an additional 30-45 minutes for this to be accomplished prior to leaving the office.
Any surgery performed in the office will not be with sedation and you will not have to fast prior to the procedure, with rare exceptions. You should be sure to take any of your regular medications that morning prior to leaving for your appointment. For almost all office procedures you should be able to drive yourself to and from the office, but if there is any question in this regard, e.g. nervousness, by all means bring a companion or arrange for somebody to come and pick you up.
For procedures or operations done at Surgicare or Onslow Memorial Hospital, you will be required to interview with the Anesthesia Department and that appointment will be arranged prior to you leaving our office.