What to Expect at Your First Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke Center Appointment
Our expert, compassionate, multi-disciplinary team in the Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke Center provides care for children who have health conditions that affect the blood vessels in their brain and spine. Every year, being ranked among the best pediatric neurosurgery programs in the nation, we treat more than 200 children with the most advanced diagnostic and imaging techniques and offer state-of-the-art treatment.
The type of care we provide can be complicated, so we understand you might have questions about the first appointment. Here’s what you need to know about preparing for your child’s visit and what to expect during the appointment.
Making an Appointment
Getting an appointment with our clinic is simple. You can either call our office directly or your child’s pediatrician, provider at another hospital or the emergency department may also refer you.
To make an appointment, please contact us.
Once we receive your appointment request or a physician referral, we will collect and review your child’s medical and imaging records. Then, a member of our team will call you to gather additional family history information, let you know if other imaging is needed, discuss a timeline for your child’s visit and complete pre-registration. You will also receive a reminder call to confirm your appointment a few days before your visit.
On the Day of Your Visit
The brain is delicate, so we understand that any appointment for neurosurgery can be intimidating and scary. We’re here to walk with you through the process and make it as easy as possible. Our multi-disciplinary staff will clearly explain every part of the process from imaging to any procedures. If you need resources for additional support, our social work and child services colleagues can connect you. Don’t worry — we haven’t forgotten about making your child comfortable, too. Every patient room includes a TV to make their appointment more enjoyable.
Before Your Appointment
Either our program specialist or a medical assistant will call you before your appointment to gather additional information about your child and your family history. During this call, you can ask questions and request social support services.
If you called our offices directly, you will need to work with our staff to help us obtain your child’s medical records. Typically, that involves signing a release form. If your child needs additional imaging studies, the radiology department will call you to schedule that appointment. Otherwise, you don’t need to make any other preparations.
Arriving at the Clinic
On the day of your appointment, you will need to bring your insurance card with you. Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment for registration. You will need to allow an additional 15 minutes for parking and walking to our clinic. When you arrive, please go to location A and check-in. You will receive a sticker and directions to location A8.
If you’re running late, please contact us.
At Your Appointment
During your child’s first appointment, our multi-disciplinary team will evaluate their needs and determine the next steps for treatment. Every morning, the team meets to discuss imaging findings for each patient, so you may meet with several of our caring providers during your appointment. Every team member will explain the unique role they will play in your child’s care. Your child’s care team could include:
- Physician Assistant
- Genetics specialist
- Radiation oncologist
- Rehabilitation specialist
Every child’s appointment is slightly different, but most last roughly two hours. In general, you can expect your appointment to include:
- Health history
- Vitals check
- Physical exam
- Discussion of symptoms
- Explanation of imaging findings
- Creation of a personalized treatment plan
If your child qualifies for a research trial or clinical study, a research coordinator will discuss those options with you during your appointment. You are not required to participate—deciding to enroll is up to you and your child.
At the end of your appointment, you will receive an after-visit summary that provides a written explanation of your child’s imaging findings and specific treatment plan. If needed, a team member from our office will also call you the next day to discuss any remaining imaging findings.
After the Appointment
Shortly after your appointment, your primary care provider will receive a personalized letter from our multi-disciplinary team that will outline the treatment recommendations and plans from each doctor. This letter will also include instructions on when you should seek emergency care if needed.