What to Expect at a Surgery Consultation

How to Prepare for a Surgery Consultation | What to Expect After a Surgery Consultation

During your consultation with a Pancreas Center surgeon, you will meet with several members of the surgical team including a nurse practitioner, your attending surgeon, and possibly a resident or a fellow who will be assisting with your care. Working together with you, the team will determine your surgical care plan. 

Many people come to our office with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer or a precancerous condition like IPMN already established by another doctor. Our goal is to confirm that the diagnosis is correct and ensure the extent of disease has been properly interpreted so that we can determine the best course of therapy. In some cases, surgery will be recommended, in others further testing or continued surveillance of your symptoms will be the best course of action. 

After registering at the front desk on the 8th floor of the Herbert Irving Pavilion, your visit will start with a full medical history and physical. You will be asked to discuss your personal health history as well as any cancer in your family. We will ask you about any symptoms or pain you have been experiencing and how long those symptoms have been bothering you. During your consultation, we will also review any medical records, imaging studies, or biopsy reports that you have brought with you or that you sent to the office ahead of your appointment.

If you have recently had imaging studies performed, such as an MRI or CT scan, it is critical to bring a copy of the images as well as the report. The findings of your imaging study will help your surgeon decide if you need an operation, as well as what type of operation is indicated. If the imaging study was performed here at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Irving Medical Center, we will be able to access the information internally. If the study was performed at an outside facility, we strongly encourage you to obtain a copy of the images and report ahead of time to bring with you to your consultation, otherwise we will not be able to complete a full evaluation of your case and your treatment plan may be delayed. We never perform surgery without the surgeon seeing the actual images (as opposed to only just the image report).

Similarly, if you have had a biopsy performed at an outside facility, it is important to bring a copy of the report and the biopsy slides. This information will enable us to make the best possible recommendation regarding your care. 

Your consultation may take up to 90 minutes. By the end of your visit, your team will make their initial recommendation for your care. If surgery is recommended, someone from the Pancreas Center will call you to schedule your surgery and your required preoperative testing. Alternately, you may schedule these appointments before you leave. If further testing is required, a member of the Pancreas Center staff will call you after your initial consultation. 

How to Prepare for a Surgery Consultation

When requesting an appointment with a Pancreas Center surgeon, our coordinator will ask you to send or fax medical records and physician notes from your other medical providers before your visit. This will enable our team of experts to review your case before your appointment. In some cases, we may suggest you undergo further imaging studies or blood tests prior to meeting with one of our surgeons to ensure we can make the best recommendation for your care during your consultation.

When you arrive for your appointment, you will be asked to fill out paperwork including a Registration Form, NYPH Adult Medical Questionnaire, Patient Questionnaire, and a Patient Acknowledgment of Notice of Privacy Practice. We suggest that you download and print these forms by clicking here to speed and facilitate your check-in and to give yourself time to review the information.

There may be some family members and friends involved in your care that you may want us to speak with directly. Due to HIPAA regulations, we cannot speak to anyone about your treatment without your express permission. You can give us permission to speak with family and friends by downloading and filling out a medical information release authorization form and bringing it with you to your consultation. You can download a copy, along with the other patient forms, by clicking here.

If you have had any recent biopsies, or imaging studies performed, please obtain a copy of the study or reports and bring them with you to your appointment. This can be done by calling the facility where you had the tests performed and requesting a copy of your results. This process may take several days or a week, so you will want to request them ahead of time.

During your consultation, your Pancreas Center team will ask you about any medications you are currently taking. It may be useful to create a medication list that includes the dosage of each medication and the condition for which each is prescribed and bring it with you to show your team.

While you are a patient of the Pancreas Center, it will be important for us to stay in contact with your primary care physician and other doctors involved in your care, and we ask that you provide a list of these doctors along with their full contact information.

Make sure to bring:

  • Any RADIOLOGY FILMS, CDs or IMAGING STUDIES previously performed
  • Any relevant BIOPSY SLIDES
  • A LIST OF MEDICATIONS you are currently taking
  • Any REQUIRED PAPERWORK available for download here
  • MEDICAL INFORMATION RELEASE FORM available for download here

What to Expect After a Surgery Consultation

If your Pancreas Center surgeon recommends that you undergo an operation, a member of the Pancreas Center staff will call you following the consultation to schedule your surgery. You can often schedule your surgery before you leave the office. We will ask you to come in a few days before your scheduled surgery for a day of preoperative testing. To learn more about what preoperative testing involves, please read How to Prepare for an Operation on this website.

At the end of your consultation, the team may recommend you undergo further imaging studies or see another Pancreas Center specialist. In these cases, our team will help you arrange appointments and schedule necessary tests. You can also use this site to learn what to expect and how to prepare for consultations with the rest of the Pancreas Center team.

We understand deciding to have surgery may be difficult for you and your family. You may want to obtain other opinions before deciding on what course of action is best for you. If, after your consultation with a Pancreas Center surgeon, you need more time to consider your options before scheduling further treatment, we encourage you to take that time. You can call the Pancreas Center anytime after your consultation to schedule further treatment.

For more information, call us at (212) 305-9467 or reach us through our online form.