Do I need a physician referral?

A referral is not necessary unless your insurance requires it. Our staff will check your insurance benefits prior to an appointment and let you know.

How long before I can get an appointment?

We try to get our patients in to see the doctor within 24 hours of insurance being verified. If you are in severe pain, please let our staff know. We strive to be as accommodating as possible.

What do I need to bring with me the day of my appointment?

Insurance cards and a picture I.D. are required. Please bring a list of your current medications. Prior diagnostic films, reports and medical records are also useful if they are available. For your convenience, it is recommended you print and complete the New Patient Forms. Completing these forms in advance and taking them with you to your appointment will minimize your wait time.

Should I tell my other doctors about coming for a chronic pain evaluation?

While the decision is completely up to you, it is recommended that you tell your other physicians about your chronic pain condition and treatment that you have sought. This will allow communication between all of your healthcare providers. Upon your request, we will provide your other treating physicians with your medical information and treatment.

Does insurance cover the procedures?

Most insurances will cover a portion of the charges. Prior to you scheduling an appointment, our staff will verify your insurance benefits. You will be advised on what is covered. We accept most private insurance, Medicare, Workers' Compensation, Attorney, Accident, and Liability Cases.

What methods are used to evaluate my chronic pain?

Pain history, past medical history, physical exams and diagnostic studies may be recommended by your physician to evaluate your pain. Open MRI, CT, Nuclear Medicine Bone Scan, X-Rays, Bone Density, and Blood Tests may also be utilized.

Where are the procedures performed?

The majority of our procedures are performed at Day Surgery, Inc. in Gray or One Day Surgery, LLC in New Iberia. We prefer to see our patients in our affiliate ambulatory surgery centers, specifically equipped and staffed for pain-relief procedures. Our staff understands patients' pain problems and is experienced in doing everything possible to provide comfort.

Do I need to stop taking my medications prior to treatment?

Do not stop taking medications without speaking with your treating doctor or primary care physician first. Some medications will affect treatment. You will be directed by Headache & Pain Center on how to take your medications on days of procedures.

Will I need someone to drive me home after a procedure?

Some interventional pain management procedures are performed with sedation or anesthesia which will require you needing a driver. Other reasons may require pre-arranging a ride home. If you will require a driver, a staff member will inform you in advance.

Will I require more than one treatment?

Each patient's treatment is inpidualized. Usually it will take more than one treatment. Procedures are performed in a series of three to six times (on different days), but occasionally just one procedure will provide lasting relief.

Will the procedure hurt?

The vast majority of patients state the procedures are painless. This, of course, depends upon the patient's tolerance. The majority of the patients elect intravenous sedation (or anesthesia), which may be administered by an anesthesiologist or certified nurse anesthetist. This usually eliminates any pain from the procedures. Your vital signs and oxygen levels are monitored to assure your safety.

What is x-ray guidance?

Most of the procedures performed are done under x-ray guidance using a fluoroscope. This makes pain relief more precise and longer lasting. The radiation dose for a procedure is generally less than being in the sun for a few hours. Please note that x-rays are still not recommended during pregnancy.

Are these treatments alternatives to surgery?

These treatment options should be explored prior to considering any type of surgery. This should be your first treatment option, not your last. If a Headache & Pain Center physician determines you need surgery, those recommendations will certainly be made. The overwhelming majority of patients are candidates for more conservative, non-surgical treatments.

How long will I benefit from the procedure?

It depends on your condition. Some patients report permanent pain relief, others find temporary relief. Usually, after a series of nerve blocks or other treatments, you can experience relief from months to years. Our goal is to provide as much pain relief to our patients as possible with the least amount of side effects. Sometimes nerve freezing, heating or other advanced pain therapies are utilized.

How long does the procedure take?

Although most procedures take five to fifteen minutes, your stay in one of our ambulatory surgery centers may be a few hours because of admission, evaluation, sedation / anesthesia, procedure time, recovery, and discharge.

How long is my recovery time after a procedure?

There is a relatively short recovery time. Following a procedure, you will be monitored by our team of nurses for approximately 20 to 45 minutes. You are discharged when you have met our criteria and given instructions for when you leave the facility.

How long will I be off from work?

This will be determined by the doctor, but most patients return to work the day after the procedure.

When can I resume exercise or sports?

Mild exercise such as walking, stationary bike, and water aerobics are encouraged. Vigorous activity such as jogging, weightlifting, or contact sports are discouraged during treatment, but may be acceptable later. Discuss this with your Headache & Pain Center physician.

Will I be pain-free?

Treatment is very inpidualized and a positive outcome is achieved in the majority of cases. Many people are permanently cured with treatments offered by our physicians. The goal is to offer efficient specialized pain relief procedures that are alternatives to other treatments, such as back and neck surgery.

Are there risks to interventional pain treatments?

All medical treatments from medications to surgery involve risks. Generally, interventional pain management procedures are very safe and complications are rare. Common side effects and risks will be explained to you prior to your particular treatment therapy. Please ask if you have a specific question.

Who do I contact if I have questions or problems arise after I have gone home?

Call Headache & Pain Center during office hours and someone on staff will help you. After hours, we have an answering service who will contact a physician on call should you have any problems or an emergency.

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