FAQs


Diagnostic Test Results

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

Someone on our nursing staff will notify you by phone once your results reach our office. If you are unreachable by phone, we will send a letter to your home requesting you call a nurse at your earliest convenience.

Pre-Admission

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Prescriptions

Patients requiring refills on medication(s) your doctor has prescribed should call our nursing department at 716.218.1000 between 9 a.m. and noon, 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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

No, DBS is a treatment for PD; it does not cure PD nor does it stop the progression of PD.

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

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. Eighty-five percent of Essential Tremor patients receive dramatic benefit.

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 best candidates for DBS therapy meet most of the following criteria: You have had PD symptoms for at least five years.You have “on/off” fluctuations, with or without dyskinesia. You continue to have a good response to PD medications, especially carbidopa/levodopa, although the duration of response may be insufficient. You have tried different combination of carbidopa/levodopa and dopamine agonists under the supervision of a movement disorders neurologist. You have tried other PD medications, such as entacapone, tolcapone, selegiline or amantadine without beneficial results. You have PD symptoms that interfere with daily activities.DBS is NOT as effective to relieve some symptoms, such as: difficulty with balance or walking, freezing episodes or speech problems. DBS would not be advised if you have severe confusion, depression, anxiety or another psychiatric illness that is not improved with medication or counseling. If you are not certain about your PD diagnoses, or you have another serious health condition, you may need further evaluation by a movement disorders specialist and/or your primary physician.For more information on DBS contact your local Movement Disorders Center and ask to speak to the nurse who specializes in caring for DBS patients. In Western New York, call 716.218.1000.