What To Expect At Your Visit
Your initial visit to the office will last approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. This time can be reduced if you fill out the patient information forms prior to your visit. You can print them out by downloading the PDF at the bottom of this section or in the Patient Forms section of the website . We can also mail these forms to you. Please fill them out in their entirety. You can bring them with you to your appointment, fax them to 406-284-2372 or mail them directly to us. Our staff can then expedite the registration process and update your records. This can significantly reduce your visit time.
You will be greeted by our receptionist and asked to show photo identification as per insurance requirements. One of our technicians will then call you back to take a thorough history of your condition. Again, this can be shortened if the patient information forms have previously been sent to us. The technicians will check your vision, your intraocular pressure and then place two sets of dilating drops in each eye. Our doctors feel very strongly that you are best served by an examination of both your eyes on your initial visit. Many eye conditions occur in both eyes simultaneously, even if one eye has no symptoms. In light of this, we strongly recommend that you arrange to have someone drive you to and from your appointment.
It will take 20-30 minutes for full dilation to occur. If your condition warrants, we may suggest watching one of our educational videos. Depending upon your condition, our technicians may proceed with some initial diagnostic testing including high resolution digital photography, and/or ultrasound. You will then be placed in the next available exam room to be seen by the doctor. We encourage friends and family to be in the room with you during your examination.
The doctor will review your chart, ask pertinent questions and then proceed with a comprehensive examination of both eyes. He will explain his findings to you and answer any questions you may have. He may recommend additional testing or treatment. Additional testing or treatment may be scheduled or performed on that same visit. This will depend upon the nature of your condition, the urgency of treatment, and your travel arrangements (including your proximity to Bozeman).
Our doctors take great pride in educating patients about their condition. He will take the time to review your diagnostic testing with you at the time of your visit. If any treatment is recommended, he will review the benefits and any risks that are associated with it. He encourages his patients to ask questions and wants them to feel comfortable regarding testing and/or treatment decisions they have to make.
There are occasions when your visit time will exceed both your expectations and ours.
We know your time is valuable. Retinal conditions can be emergent and sight threatening. This will result in unscheduled patients presenting to the office at inopportune times. This can result in your visit being extended. We apologize for any inconvenience that you may incur. Our doctors will make every effort to make your visit as short as possible.
Things to bring to your visit:
- Your Insurance cards
- Your office co-payment
- Completed registration and history forms
If your insurance company requires pre-authorization or a referral from your primary care physician, we will need you to bring this with you or fax it to us at 406-284-2372.
Effective August 1, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission requires that we verify our patients’ identity to prevent individuals from fraudulently using insurance cards to obtain medical care. We will require that you bring a picture ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, or a utility bill with your name and address on it for verification purposes. This information is required to comply with federal regulations which are intended ultimately to protect you from identity theft.
Please feel free to call our office if you have questions or there is anything additional that we can do to assist you in preparing for your visit.
What to Expect During your Surgical Experience
Your surgery will be performed at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. It will be an outpatient surgery, which means that you will arrive the morning of surgery and leave that same day. It is important that you follow all the instructions given to you by the hospital and our office prior to surgery. Most importantly, you may have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery. If you take medications, you may take them with sips of water the morning of surgery. Generally, the doctor would prefer you to continue taking any blood thinner medication you are on, especially if you have had a heart attack or stroke in the past. If you are on Warfarin or Coumadin, it is important to make sure your INR is in a safe range before surgery. If you take a daily baby aspirin and have not had a heart attack or stroke, then you may stop taking it 7 days before surgery, and restart it the day after.
The doctors perform the majority of their surgeries under local anesthesia with light sedation. It is very safe and tolerated well by patients. You will be given light sedation that will temporarily render you unconscious. At that time, the doctor will inject medication around your eye so that you will not feel or see any of the surgery. You will awake in a state of light sedation. You will hear the doctor’s voice, but not have any pain or anxiety.
Surgery can last from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending upon the nature of your condition. After the procedure, you will be taken back to the same-day surgery area. You may be asked to position yourself either facedown or on one side or another. This all depends upon your condition. This positioning will last until your visit with Dr. Comaratta the next day. You are allowed to get up to eat and got to the bathroom. Be reassured that no sudden movement is going to jeopardize your eye. The directions for positioning are important to maintain 55 minutes out of 60. There are no eye drops or other medications to take after surgery. It is rare for a patient to require pain medication. We suggest Tylenol or ibuprofen if you have discomfort. If this does not relieve the pain, we encourage to call the office for further instructions.
Dr. Comaratta will see you the next day and remove the bandages to examine you. He may want you to continue with certain head positioning for several days to a week after the surgery. This will be determined by the nature of your condition. You will be given eye drops to take and may need a prescription filled. We will do this electronically from the office so you may pick it up on your way home.
You will awaken in a state of light sedation. You will hear the doctor’ voice, but not have any pain or anxiety.
Surgery can last from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending upon the nature of your condition. After the procedure, you will be taken back to the same-day surgery area. You may be asked to position yourself either face down or on your side. This all depends upon your condition. This positioning will last until your visit with the doctor the next day, and sometimes for a few more days afterwards. You are allowed to get up to eat and go to the bathroom. Leave your eye patch on until seen by the doctor, and no eye drops are required until after you see him. It is rare for a patient to require pain medication. We suggest Tylenol or ibuprofen if you have discomfort. If this does not relieve the pain, we encourage to call the office right away.
The doctor will see you the next day and remove the bandages to examine you. He may want you to continue with certain head positioning for several days to a week after the surgery. This will be determined by the nature of your condition. You will be given eye drops to take and may need a prescription filled. We will do this electronically from the office, so you may pick it up on your way home.