Questions and Answers
Q: Can I get medications changed?
A: Medications are reevaluated on every visit. We will rely on you to let us know if they are ineffective or cause in intolerable side effects.
Q: Is sedation needed for my procedure? If so, what type?
A: If a patient is nervous about the procedure, even if they are confident about having it done and/or looking forward to it, it is probably best to give you something that will produce mild sedation so that you can be relaxed. This is usually one of the benzodiazepines, such as Valium as oftentimes is combined with a short acting pain medication.
Q: Do I have to do a urine drug screen? Why?
A: Urine Drug Screens are routinely done in virtually every pain doctor's office across the country. This is consistent with practice guidelines and standards of care that we all must follow.
Q: What is a spinal cord stimulator?
A: This is the most sophisticated pain management technique on the planet. If you have pain that cannot be treated with conventional techniques you could be a candidate for SCS.
Q: Where is the office located? Is there ample parking?
A: Right next to Providence Main Hospital in Downtown Columbia. There is ample parking in the parking lot and overflow parking in the parking garage.
Q: What are your hours of availability?
A: We are available Monday-Thursday 8-5 and on Fridays 8-2
Q: What insurance companies are in network for your office?
A: Most major insurance companies are accepted; please call our office to inquire about your individual plan.
Q: Do you have payment plans?
A: We can make arrangements with patients on an individual basis.
Q: What should I wear for my procedure?
A: Comfortable clothing if possible, preferably pants and a shirt, as dresses are sometimes difficult when having procedures.
Q: How often do I need to be seen for follow up?
A: Office visits are individualized for each patient's particular problems and needs. We would like to see you for a follow up 2 to 3 weeks following a procedure. If the benefit is long lasting the interval between visits can be quite long if you are doing well. Most of the patient's being seen for pain medication prescriptions are seen monthly.
Q: How long do procedures last?
A: Most procedures are completed in a matter of minutes although the total time in the office will depend on how long it takes to become relaxed for those that decide on premedication and on the procedure. We will monitor you in the office anywhere from 5-30 minutes after treatment.
Q: Will my procedure be repeated?
A: If you have good relief but there is still room for improvement it is not uncommon to repeat a treatment anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months later. There is no recipe for this and the decision to repeat a treatment is made by the patient and doctor together.
Q: Do I need a driver?
A: Many procedures do not require the patient to have a driver. If you have been sedated for the treatment then we will require you to have a driver for yours and others' safety on the road. Many patients that have a treatment to address back and leg pain, particularly on the right side, should have a driver.
Q: Will I experience pain during my procedure?
A: It is entirely possible to have a procedure with minimal discomfort whether you are sedated or not. Our goal is to have you experience as a little discomfort as possible.
Q: What is Radiofrequency?
A: Radiofrequency is a special technique that can prolong the duration of pain relief. If a particular nerve or set of nerves is treated and patient has very good quality but short-term relief, radiofrequency treatment can be the next step. This is recommended on an individual basis as not all patients are candidates. The treatment itself is basic for a pain specialist.
Q: Will I have an incision?
A: No; none of the treatments at Palmetto Pain Management ever require an incision.
Q: How long will relief last after my procedure?
A: This is the question that everyone asks. Our interest is in prolonging your relief by whatever means possible. Once we complete an initial treatment in a given area we will have a better idea how long subsequent treatments can last.
Q: Can I eat before my procedure?
A: Drinking fluids and taking your usual medications is most important but we also encourage eating. Probably best not to have a very large meal immediately before your visit.