Your first consultation is often a longer meeting and can take up to half an hour on most occasions.
At this visit, your background medical issues and any previous operations are discussed as these other issues can have an important influence on your current problem and how it is managed. Obviously the focus will be on the problem you have been referred to see me about but your background health issues are sometimes very important.
Having an up to date list of current medications (especially blood thinners such as aspirin or warfarin) is extremely helpful as well as a recollection of previous operations. If you are not sure, your GP should be able to provide a list if you ask her or him.
A physical examination will also be performed at this visit with a focus on the relevant problem area and any other body system that could influence the treatment of your current problem.
If you have had any x-rays or scans performed for your problem, these should be brought along as well (this includes the pictures and not just a report if possible).
All relevant blood test results are needed and again, your GP should be able to provide a copy of this.
Lastly, a referral from your GP is essential for your first visit and much of what is described above is usually on your referral letter.
Once this assessment is complete, you will then be advised what is the next step in your treatment. Sometimes further blood tests, x-rays or scans are required. In other cases, you may be recommended an operation and on some occasions, it is recommended that other treatment (eg antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications) may be better than surgery depending on the circumstances.
If an operation is recommended, a good proportion of this visit goes into a discussion about the surgery itself, what are the benefits and what are the risks. At this time, it is also explained what to expect before and after the surgery.
First consultation checklist:
- Referral from GP
- List of current medications
- All relevant X-rays including the pictures and reports
- All blood test results
- Medicare card
- Private health details (if applicable)
To make your first visit easier, please click on the button to go to our patient information form that can be filled in and sent back for our staff to prepare and enter into our records prior to your visit. This will help make sure that as much relevant information is available and checked prior to the visit.