Frequently Asked Questions

Browse Topics

Diagnostic Test Results

Pre-Admission

Post-Operative

Prescriptions

Office Visits

General

Deep Brain Stimulation

Diagnostic Test Results

How long until my test results are available?

Test results are usually available about 10 to 14 days after your test.

How do I find out my test results?

We will schedule your follow up appointment to go over the results. If these results require urgent action, you will be notified sooner if your follow up is scheduled further out.

Pre-Admission

Where do I go the day of my surgery?

Proceed directly to the admissions area of the hospital where your surgery is scheduled. From there you will be directed to the same day/ambulatory surgery floor where you will stay until your surgery.

Can I take my medication the morning of my surgery?

Because each patient is different and medications vary from person to person, it is strongly recommended that you inform your doctor what medications you are currently taking and ask which ones can be taken prior to surgery. Generally, hypertensive and cardiac medications can be taken prior to surgery with very little water.

What can I eat or drink before my surgery?

Do not consume anything by mouth after midnight the night before your surgery. Medications should be taken with just enough water to swallow comfortably.

Post-Operative

Will I receive pain medication after my surgery?

Every effort is made to ensure our patients experience as little pain as possible after surgery. We encourage our patients to let us know if they are experiencing post-operative pain so that your physician can take appropriate pain-relief action.

Will I see my doctor after my surgery?

Because this is a teaching hospital, your care is administered through a coordinated effort. This means that during your hospital visit, you will be seen by any one of a team of doctors, all of whom are very familiar with your particular condition.

How long can I expect to stay in the hospital?

Every patient is different and thus requires different post-operative care. Rest assured, your care is suited to your specific needs and every attempt is made to allow for the safest and most efficient recovery.

What are my limitations after surgery?

At the time of your pre-operative interview with one of our nursing staff, you will be given a sheet of instructions for your specific surgery that will provide you with everything you need to know about wound care, physical restrictions, and more.

Will my family doctor be kept informed of my progress?

At the time of your follow-up visit, your doctor will receive a letter from your neurosurgeon regarding the progress of your recovery.

When do I return to see my neurosurgeon after my surgery?

We schedule you for a follow-up office visit anywhere between two and five weeks after your initial surgery.

Prescriptions

How do I arrange for refills of my current prescriptions?

Patients requiring refills on medication(s) your doctor has prescribed should call our office at 716.218.1000 between 8am and 4pm, Monday through Friday. To ensure that you do not run out of your medication, please call to request a refill at least seven days before your last dose. We cannot refill medication on weekends or after hours. Furthermore, we will not refill any prescription(s) we have not prescribed.

Office Visits

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

We request our patients to please inform us of a cancellation at least 24 hours in advance.

How long will my clinic appointment take?

Our goal is to make sure each patient is seen promptly. Our neurosurgeons typically devote only one day per week to clinic because they also manage treatment programs, perform surgeries, and teach. For this reason, please allow two to three hours for your appointment, as unscheduled emergencies can delay the doctor.

What if my doctor is in surgery at the time of my scheduled appointment?

Although we make every effort to see patients at their scheduled time, our neurosurgeons are frequently called to the operating room without notice. Often we cannot anticipate when they will return to their office hours. We will keep you informed of your physician’s status. If you cannot wait, we will gladly reschedule your appointment.

General

Are there other people who have this problem?

Some neurological disorders are more common than others. Studies show that more than 700,000 Americans suffer strokes each year; more than 17,000 people find out they have a brain tumor; and approximately 11,000 people suffer spinal cord injury. In addition, headache and low back pain are among the most common symptoms that send people to the doctor.

What are my treatment options?

Brain and spine problems often involve several treatment options. Your doctor will discuss benefits, risks and results of all treatments with you and will help you evaluate the treatment or combination of treatments best suited to your lifestyle.

How successful is surgery and how long is the recovery process?

Surgical outcomes and the healing process vary from one person to the next depending on genetics, severity of the problem, lifestyle differences and attitude. Your neurosurgical team can tell you what other patients have experienced, and, based on your history, will advise you on what to expect during your own recovery process. It is also important to note that clinical studies suggest patients who participate in their healthcare decisions and who receive emotional support often experience more successful outcomes than those who do not. So be sure to ask questions.

Deep Brain Stimulation

Is DBS a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD), essential tremor (ET), or dystonia?

No, DBS is a treatment for each of these diseases or conditions; it does not cure PD nor does it stop the progression of PD. DBS may reduce tremor in ET or dystonia but does not completely alleviate the symptoms of these conditions.

Why choose DBS therapy over the other surgical treatments?

DBS therapy is considered a safe and effective treatment for PD, ET and dystonia and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. It is covered by Medicare and all major insurance carriers.

What symptoms does DBS help?

DBS can help improve the motor symptoms of PD including: shaking (tremor), muscle stiffness (rigidity), slowed movement (bradykinesia), “on/off” fluctuations and dyskinesia (a side effect of PD medication). DBS increases patients “on” time by five and a half hours per day on average. A significant percentage of Essential Tremor and dystonia patients receive dramatic benefit.

Am I a good candidate for DBS?

When you are first diagnosed with PD, your neurologist or movement disorders specialist will use medications to help reduce the symptoms of PD. Your condition may be well controlled with medication alone and DBS may not be necessary or may be delayed for several years. A movement disorders specialist is the best resource to confirm your diagnoses of PD and help determine if DBS would be a good choice for you. The same is true for ET and dystonia, your movement disorders neurologist will evaluate you and recommend DBS as needed. For more information on DBS contact Pat Weigel, RN, at 716.218.1000 x6115.

Browse Topics

Diagnostic Test Results

How long until my test results are available?

Test results are usually available about 10 to 14 days after your test.

How do I find out my test results?

We will schedule your follow up appointment to go over the results. If these results require urgent action, you will be notified sooner if your follow up is scheduled further out.

Pre-Admission

Where do I go the day of my surgery?

Proceed directly to the admissions area of the hospital where your surgery is scheduled. From there you will be directed to the same day/ambulatory surgery floor where you will stay until your surgery.

Can I take my medication the morning of my surgery?

Because each patient is different and medications vary from person to person, it is strongly recommended that you inform your doctor what medications you are currently taking and ask which ones can be taken prior to surgery. Generally, hypertensive and cardiac medications can be taken prior to surgery with very little water.

What can I eat or drink before my surgery?

Do not consume anything by mouth after midnight the night before your surgery. Medications should be taken with just enough water to swallow comfortably.

Post-Operative

Will I receive pain medication after my surgery?

Every effort is made to ensure our patients experience as little pain as possible after surgery. We encourage our patients to let us know if they are experiencing post-operative pain so that your physician can take appropriate pain-relief action.

Will I see my doctor after my surgery?

Because this is a teaching hospital, your care is administered through a coordinated effort. This means that during your hospital visit, you will be seen by any one of a team of doctors, all of whom are very familiar with your particular condition.

How long can I expect to stay in the hospital?

Every patient is different and thus requires different post-operative care. Rest assured, your care is suited to your specific needs and every attempt is made to allow for the safest and most efficient recovery.

What are my limitations after surgery?

At the time of your pre-operative interview with one of our nursing staff, you will be given a sheet of instructions for your specific surgery that will provide you with everything you need to know about wound care, physical restrictions, and more.

Will my family doctor be kept informed of my progress?

At the time of your follow-up visit, your doctor will receive a letter from your neurosurgeon regarding the progress of your recovery.

When do I return to see my neurosurgeon after my surgery?

We schedule you for a follow-up office visit anywhere between two and five weeks after your initial surgery.

Prescriptions

How do I arrange for refills of my current prescriptions?

Patients requiring refills on medication(s) your doctor has prescribed should call our office at 716.218.1000 between 8am and 4pm, Monday through Friday. To ensure that you do not run out of your medication, please call to request a refill at least seven days before your last dose. We cannot refill medication on weekends or after hours. Furthermore, we will not refill any prescription(s) we have not prescribed.

Office Visits

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

We request our patients to please inform us of a cancellation at least 24 hours in advance.

How long will my clinic appointment take?

Our goal is to make sure each patient is seen promptly. Our neurosurgeons typically devote only one day per week to clinic because they also manage treatment programs, perform surgeries, and teach. For this reason, please allow two to three hours for your appointment, as unscheduled emergencies can delay the doctor.

What if my doctor is in surgery at the time of my scheduled appointment?

Although we make every effort to see patients at their scheduled time, our neurosurgeons are frequently called to the operating room without notice. Often we cannot anticipate when they will return to their office hours. We will keep you informed of your physician’s status. If you cannot wait, we will gladly reschedule your appointment.

General

Are there other people who have this problem?

Some neurological disorders are more common than others. Studies show that more than 700,000 Americans suffer strokes each year; more than 17,000 people find out they have a brain tumor; and approximately 11,000 people suffer spinal cord injury. In addition, headache and low back pain are among the most common symptoms that send people to the doctor.

What are my treatment options?

Brain and spine problems often involve several treatment options. Your doctor will discuss benefits, risks and results of all treatments with you and will help you evaluate the treatment or combination of treatments best suited to your lifestyle.

How successful is surgery and how long is the recovery process?

Surgical outcomes and the healing process vary from one person to the next depending on genetics, severity of the problem, lifestyle differences and attitude. Your neurosurgical team can tell you what other patients have experienced, and, based on your history, will advise you on what to expect during your own recovery process. It is also important to note that clinical studies suggest patients who participate in their healthcare decisions and who receive emotional support often experience more successful outcomes than those who do not. So be sure to ask questions.

Deep Brain Stimulation

Is DBS a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD), essential tremor (ET), or dystonia?

No, DBS is a treatment for each of these diseases or conditions; it does not cure PD nor does it stop the progression of PD. DBS may reduce tremor in ET or dystonia but does not completely alleviate the symptoms of these conditions.

Why choose DBS therapy over the other surgical treatments?

DBS therapy is considered a safe and effective treatment for PD, ET and dystonia and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. It is covered by Medicare and all major insurance carriers.

What symptoms does DBS help?

DBS can help improve the motor symptoms of PD including: shaking (tremor), muscle stiffness (rigidity), slowed movement (bradykinesia), “on/off” fluctuations and dyskinesia (a side effect of PD medication). DBS increases patients “on” time by five and a half hours per day on average. A significant percentage of Essential Tremor and dystonia patients receive dramatic benefit.

Am I a good candidate for DBS?

When you are first diagnosed with PD, your neurologist or movement disorders specialist will use medications to help reduce the symptoms of PD. Your condition may be well controlled with medication alone and DBS may not be necessary or may be delayed for several years. A movement disorders specialist is the best resource to confirm your diagnoses of PD and help determine if DBS would be a good choice for you. The same is true for ET and dystonia, your movement disorders neurologist will evaluate you and recommend DBS as needed. For more information on DBS contact Pat Weigel, RN, at 716.218.1000 x6115.

Convenient WNY locations

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  • Erie County Medical Center

  • Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • Gates Vascular Institute

  • Summit Medical Campus

  • Oishei Children’s Hospital and Outpatient Center

  • Brook Bridge Medical Complex

  • Conventus Building

  • Comprehensive Neuroscience Center

Surgical Locations:  Sisters of Charity Hospital, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Buffalo General Medical Center, Gates Vascular Institute, Kenmore Mercy Hospital, John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital

UBNS in the news

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August 22, 2019

UB Neurosurgery providing stroke services to Niagara Falls Memorial

A new partnership will bring high-level stroke services to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, allowing patients to remain closer to home for less severe cases. Beginning Monday, Aug. 5, specialists from UB Neurosurgery will provide…

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July 31, 2019

UB Neurosurgery takes charge of stroke care at Niagara Falls Memorial

Doctors from University at Buffalo Neurosurgery will take charge of the stroke care program at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, offering the same treatments and equipment available at Kaleida Health’s Gates Vascular Institute in Buffalo….

Continue reading news article

Please notify our office immediately if you have a fever, cough, runny nose, or shortness of breath or have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. UBNS is following all CDC and New York State Dept. of Health guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Due to increased call volume, hold times are longer than usual. We apologize for the inconvenience.