How can my General Practitioner help me to obtain specialist vascular medical care?
Before seeing any medical specialist, you should talk to your General Practitioner who will discuss your problem with you. Your general practitioner can help the vascular specialist to care for you by providing relevant information about your health and in the long-term, by following up on advice or treatment provided. Communicating with the vascular specialist will also enable your General Practitioner to care for you during and after your specialist treatment.
Do I need a referral to make an appointment?
Yes. For an ultrasound or a specialist consultation, you cannot claim form Medicare unless you have a referral. We will see in an emergency but you must obtain a written referral within 48 hours.
What should I bring with me when I come for an appointment?
- Referral letter or completed request form from the doctor requesting appointment
- Medicare card, DVA card or Pension card
- Private Health Fund Details
- Copies of the results of any tests performed including X-rays, MRI's, CT scans
- A list of your current medications
- Any other relevant information
What should I expect during my first visit with the Vascular Surgeon?
During your initial visit, the vascular surgeon will ask you specific questions about your problem and take a medical history. He will also perform an assessment which includes a visual examination of the problem area and depending on your problem, may also perform a physical examination such as feeling for pulses in your groin or lower leg. He will also review the results of any investigations that you have had and from this and your examination he will be able to form an opinion of what your problem may be. Commonly he will then order a specific ultrasound examination or in some patients, a series of ultrasounds if he feels that they may be several areas involved. At the end of this appointment a follow-up or review consultation is commonly arranged during which the doctor will discuss results of any investigations with you and provide a definitive diagnosis. Treatment will be explained and if appropriate required, arrangements made.
What should I expect during my ultrasound examination?
Ultrasound examinations are painless and in most cases very straight forward. They involve placing an ultrasound probe on the skin and require the use of a special gel. The examination can be quite intimate and you will be required to remove your lower or upper clothing or both to allow access. Most examinations are completed within 45 minutes and results are forwarded on to your referring doctor. As a rule results are not disclosed by the sonographer performing your test however in an emergency or if there is a significant finding, the sonographer may contact the referring doctor or make other arrangements.
Are my medical records kept private and confidential?
Your medical file is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy. Our staff is bound by strict confidentiality requirements as a condition of employment regarding your medical records. Ordinarily we will not release the contents of your medical file without your consent.