Who is a Urologist?
An urologist is a surgeon who has had further training to gain specialized knowledge and skill regarding problems of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs. The male and female urinary tract include kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra -- as well as the related organs - testes, prostate, penis, epidydimi, seminal vesicles and associated glands.
What should I bring with me when I come for a scheduled office appointment?
- A referral letter from your GP, family physician or other doctor
- Your current medication list and information on past medical problems or surgery
- Copies of results, x-rays, MRI's. CT scans etc and any other relevant information
- Your Medical Insurance information
- If you are coming for a problem regarding urinary symptoms, please come with a comfortably full bladder to perform a flow test
Are my medical records kept private and confidential?
Your medical file is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy. Our staff are 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.
Do I need a referral to make an appointment?
Most medical specialists will accept only referred patients. This is to try to ensure that the specialist you are seeing is appropriate for you and your condition.
How can my family doctor help me to obtain specialist medical care?
Before seeing any medical specialist, it is always preferable to talk to your own family doctor, who can discuss your condition with you and advise on whether any specialist care is appropriate. If it is, he or she can help you to choose the specialist best suited to your needs. Your family doctor can help the specialist to care for you better by providing relevant information about your health. Communicating with the specialist will also enable your family doctor to care for you better during and after your specialist treatment.
What should I expect during my first visit?
Mr Neill will probably study your files from the referring doctor, he may do a physical examination and ask you a range of medical questions. It is possible he will suggest further diagnostic tests for you. The tests will help to form a definitive diagnosis and recommendations for treatment will follow this. He will explain the specific tests or procedure required, help you visualize the results and go over the risks.
What about your fees?
If it is thought that you require surgery, you will be provided with an estimate of the surgeon’s fee prior to any procedure being undertaken, so as you can make an informed financial decision. In most instances, there will be a portion of your surgical fee (“gap”) which is not covered by Medicare and your health fund. Our staff will be able to help you answer any questions regarding this area.
If you have been given an “Estimates of Fees” for a particular surgical procedure, you should take it to your health fund prior to surgery being performed to see if any further charges will be necessary. Sometimes your health fund will charge an excess depending on your level of cover.
What are the total costs and fees involved in having surgery performed in a private hospital?
- Surgeon and Surgical Assistant fees
- Anaesthetist fee
- Hospital fee
- Ancillary charges (pharmacy, pathology, non-rebated consumables etc.)
Our office can advise you regarding the fees and give you some indication of the costs of the other people involved in your care. You will be provided with the relevant contact numbers so you can make more detailed inquiries.
What are your acceptable means of payment?
Fees will be reviewed with you at the consultation visit. Payment during the consultation is appreciated.
Bank cheque, personal cheques, cash or credit cards (MasterCard, VISA) are acceptable means of payment. We do not accept American Express or Diners cards.
Do I need to have private health insurance?
Private health care allows control of your health care, you have the choice of provider, facility and timing for your treatment.
Private health insurance is not necessary to have private health care however you will be required to pay the full cost of all fees without it. Private health insurance will cover some of the costs of treatment, however different insurance plans will reimburse different proportions of the health care fees.
What should I expect before an operation?
Before surgery, you will need a check up to make sure you don't have any conditions that could interfere with the anaesthetic, surgery or their outcome. Routine tests, such as blood tests, urine tests and X-rays, are usually performed a week before the surgery.
Discuss any medications you are taking with your urologist and your family physician to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery.
If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery. Smoking is not permitted on hospital grounds and this is an ideal opportunity to give up smoking for the long run.
Eat a well-balanced diet, try to maintain a regular sleeping habit and exercise routine.
Report any infections to your surgeon. An untreated infection found on the day of surgery may result in postponement of the procedure.
Why do I have to remove my dentures? Your dentures are removed to prevent them from being damaged or slipping out of place while your jaw is relaxed under general anesthesia.
Why do I have to remove my jewelry, glasses and hairpins? This request is made for your safety due to risk of electrical burn, as well as to prevent loss of items.
Why am I asked about capped or loose teeth? The anesthesiologist needs to be aware of capped or loose teeth to help plan your anesthesia care.
Why am I asked not to wear make-up? The natural color of your skin and nail beds is an indication to the surgery team of how your body is functioning.
Why am I asked about allergies so frequently? All members of the surgery team need to be aware of any allergies to assure your safety. As a result, such important information is verified more than once.
Why can’t I eat or drink before surgery? It is for your protection and safety. During and after surgery there is a possibility of vomiting. An empty stomach will help reduce such possibilities.
Will my surgery start "on time?" Every attempt is made to start surgery as scheduled. If delays occur, you will be informed. If surgery times are moved ahead, you will be contacted to come in earlier to the surgery center.
Why is the operating room is kept so cold? The operating room is kept cool to help decrease bacterial growth. You will be given warm blankets.
Why do you ask me what kind of surgery I’m having? Don’t you know? It is necessary to verify the surgical procedure with you so the surgery team is assured that you understand exactly what you are having done.
What if I decide NOT to have surgery? Occasionally, patients decide not to have surgery or wonder if surgery is still necessary. It is obviously better to decide this before the day of surgery so that the operating time can be used for other patients, however you always have the choice to opt out of surgery. If you have significant doubts it is better to make another clinic appointment before the surgery to discuss things further and go over any other options you may have.
Why can’t I shave near my surgical site? Any small cuts or nicks near your surgical site may increase your risk for infection
Is there anything else I need to know for day surgery?
- Have someone available to take you home, you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours due to the anaesthetic medications
- Do not drink or eat anything in the car on the trip home as it may cause nausea and vomiting
- After arriving home, wait until you are hungry before trying to eat. Begin with a light meal and try to avoid greasy food for the first 24 hours
- Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine as you start getting uncomfortable, but before you are in severe pain. If you wait to take your pain medication until the pain is severe, you will have more difficulty controlling the pain