In most cases, retina specialists like myself, work on a referral basis. We are fairly subspecialized and few patients, except perhaps diabetics, ever directly seek out the services of a retinal ophthalmologist. We receive most of our patients by another doctor recommending, or referring, a patient to us.
Usually the referring doctor may give you a referral slip or even call to make the appointment for you. It is generally helpful to us to know the reason for referral. Our appointments are made during normal business hours Monday through Friday. If your doctor feels that your condition, such as a retinal detachment, merits immediately attention, we can arrange for an emergency visit.
Regardless of the type of visit, the intial consultation is usually the longest and most comprehensive. Additional testing such as fluorescein angiograophy or optical coherence tomography (OCT) may be required. From an insurance perspective, initial consultations are the most costly and follow-up visits are less expensive.
There are many retinal or vitreous conditions that require surgical intervention. If we (you and I) decide that surgery is your best option, then our next step is to schedule the procedure.