Pain Specialists of Pawley’s Island: Procedure FAQs
Q: What will happen on the day of the procedure?
A: Wear comfortable clothes and leave unnecessary valuables at home. The nurse will bring you back to an exam room and ask you several questions, including how bad your pain feels on a 0 – 10 scale. The nurse will place an IV, and the doctor will be in to discuss the steps involved in the procedure, expected outcomes, and answer any questions. You will be asked to sign a consent giving the physician permission to do the procedure. You will then be taken into the procedure room where will make every effort to make you comfortable on the procedure table. After the completion of the procedure, you will be monitored in the recovery room for any side effects. Prior to your release, we will ask for a post injection pain score. This score is important for diagnostic purposes. You and your driver will be given follow-up instructions during checkout.
Q: Do I need a Driver?
A: Yes. Patients having procedures are given Versed to help them relax, and are considered legally impaired for 6-8 hours after the procedure. We understand this might be an inconvenience but this is a very important precaution. It is also important that your driver wait at our facility during your procedure so that we may call them to go over post-procedure instructions and check you out when you are ready to leave.
Q: What can I eat and drink before the procedure?
A: Patients should NOT eat or drink anything four hours before their procedure. If a patient needs to take their regular medication, it is alright to take it with a few sips of water. Diabetic patients may drink small amounts of juice up to 1 hour prior to procedure.
Q: Should I continue to take my medications prior to my procedure?
A: Yes. Please continue to take your usual medications for other health conditions. The ONLY exception would be blood thinners, such as Plavix, Pletal or Coumadin. If you are taking a blood thinner, please inform our office and nurse at your first visit to our office. With your doctor’s approval, you will need to stop taking your blood thinner medication 3-5 days prior to your procedure.
Q: How long will I be at the medical office during my procedure?
A: Typically from the time a patient arrives until the time a patient is checked out of the facility will be between 1 hour to 1 ½ hours. We usually have a very punctual clinic, but sometimes emergencies and the treatment of complicated patients can cause some delays.
After any procedure there is a short recovery period. Please bring someone to drive you to and from the office on the day of your procedure. All drivers are asked to wait in the lobby area so that our staff may let them know when patients are ready to be checked out after their procedure.
After the procedure, you will be given detailed discharge instructions. These instructions will include directions on eating, drinking, physical activity and medical concerns.
*If you have had an Epidural Steroid Injection, you should have a relaxing day. You do not have to be bed ridden, but you should limit your activities to your home. You should not go back to work or make any major decisions for the remainder of the day. The benefits of the injection may be affected if you are over-active (do yard work, go shopping all afternoon, fix the roof, go jogging, etc.).
*If you have had a Medial Branch Block, you should go do things that would normally aggravate your pain. For example, if you have had a Lumbar Medial Branch Block for your lower back and you normally wouldn’t be able to touch your toes or mow the lawn, you should try to do those things over the 6 – 8 hours after your Medial Branch Block. This “test” of your pain will let our physician know whether or not the procedure was successful. If you attempt to do something on the day of your Medial Branch Block that you normally couldn’t do, but you can do without pain the day of your procedure, our physician knows he has put the correct nerve to sleep.
Life-threatening emergencies are not treated in our clinic. A life-threatening emergency should be treated either at the Emergency Room or by calling 911. If you have an urgent need that cannot wait until regular business hours, such as a severe drug reaction or an immediate need because of a reaction to a procedure (severe headache, severe pain from injection, severe rash or fever after injection, etc.), you need to go to the Emergency Room. If you call our office, our voicemail is NOT checked during the night or over the weekend, so you will not be called back until the next business day.