Frequently Asked Questions: Your First Visit
What to Expect at Your First Visit to Our Office
Prior to your visit you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about your medical history. It is important that we have an accurate record of any medical condition that you might have. We’ll want to know about any symptoms you might be experiencing now. We'll also want to know about any operations you may have had. Please tell us if you are allergic to anything and bring a complete list of prescription medications, over the counter medications and any herbal medications or vitamins you may be taking. Include the dose and how long you have been taking them.
When you are taken to the exam room our nurse will ask you for clarifications about your medical conditions, medications and the reason for your visit. Your heart rate, blood pressure and temperature will be recorded. You will be asked to disrobe from the waist up and given a cape or gown to wear.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your medical history, your risk factors for breast cancer and the specific concerns that you are being seen for. It is important to provide as much information as possible.
Your exam will start with an inspection of your breasts in the seated position and with your arms raised above your head and your chest muscles flexed. This allows your doctor to look at the symmetry of your breasts and to check for any skin dimpling or retraction which could be a sign of breast cancer. Next the lymph nodes in your neck and axillary (underarm) areas will be examined. Your doctor will be checking to see whether any of the lymph nodes in these areas are hard or enlarged. Finally, while you are lying down your doctor will examine your breasts. You may be asked to point out any areas of your breasts that are of concern to you.
After the exam your doctor will review your mammograms, ultrasounds and any other test results you might have with you. It is important to bring these films to your visit.
The doctor will discuss your situation with you and recommend a treatment plan or may offer you general options. It’s important to ask questions at this point so that you can fully understand the options presented to you and make a decision about your treatment that is right for you. If you have done any reading such as research on the internet, you might have questions, concerns or thoughts about your treatment. Now is the time to bring these up. The internet is a wonderful resource but not all of the information found will apply to you. Your doctor will help you sort this out.
After your visit your doctor will record the visit in your chart. A copy of this note and the results of your tests will be sent to your primary doctor. Please be sure that we know which doctors should receive this information.
Our reception staff will assist you in making follow up appointments, or scheduling tests and surgery if the doctor determines this is necessary.