What can I expect at my First Visit consultation at AEVAFEM?
Please plan to reach 15 mins prior to your appointment. On arrival, please inform one of our friendly staff. You are required to fill in paperwork regarding your details if you have not already done so. We recognise that your time is valuable – we aim to keep your appointment to within 30 minutes of schedule. However in a rare event, priority will always be given to emergency presentations and hospital emergencies that may require Dr Nikam or A/Professor Chan to attend in person. In such a situation, we will try and contact you to re-schedule your visit.
If you are unable to make your appointment, please call our secretary at the earliest to reschedule and minimise disruption of services to other patients.
What to bring to your consultation?
When you attend for your first consultation, you will need to bring the following
- Current referral letter (for fertility patients, this must have both you and your partner’s name on it),
- Your Medicare card,
- Your private health insurance details if applicable,
- Any ultrasounds or scan reports
- Relevant health records related to your health problem
- List of medications you are currently taking
Your First Visit Consultation is expected to last for 45 mins (60 mins for a Fertility First Visit Consultation). Dr Nikam and A/Professor Chan will assess your presenting problem. A physical examination will be performed if necessary. You may require additional investigations which will be arranged. Minor procedures including an Ultrasound or a Colposcopy may be performed as appropriate.
How is my medical record held? (Privacy Policies)
The federal PRIVACY ACT incorporates Privacy Principles that set out the rules for handling personal information in the private sector (http://www.privacy.gov.au/faq/health).
As a part of providing your medical care, it is necessary that a certain amount of personal information be collected. This information is necessary to provide your medical care. All staff associated with the practice maintain strict confidentiality. We will be writing back to your referring GP and other practitioners if they need to be consulted in regards to your care.
As a patient, you have the right to access your personal health information (medical record) and know what information is held about you. You can also make corrections if you consider the data is incorrect. Information cannot be released to other parties without your permission nor can we access your information from other providers without your consent.
Generally, the person who creates the medical record owns the copyright to that record. However, this does not interfere with your right to access your medical records. Privacy and copyright are two different issues. If you wish to accesses the information we hold, we ask that you make a request in writing to our office. You will need to provide some form of identification (eg. a copy of your driver’s license or passport) so we can verify that you are the individual to whom the personal information relates. You should also include details of how we can contact you in case we need to discuss your request.
We are a paper-lite office that means we keep the use of paper to the minimum. Any paperwork is you fill in at our office, is converted into a digital format and shredded in a confidential manner. Your data is held in an electronic format, strictly confidentially on our servers, which are based in Australia. The digital data is backed up regularly, monitored and maintained by a professional software company. However, given the digital nature of the data, it is subject to malicious virus attack, power failure and failure or corruption of hard drives, in spite of taking the due precautions.
At AEVAFEM we do not sell, rent or lease our patient information to third parties. However, we are required to disclose your personal information, without notice, if required to do so by law or in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary to:
(a) conform to legislative requirements or comply other with legal process;
(b) protect and defend the rights or property of AEVAFEM Pty Ltd; and,
(c) protect the personal safety of users of AEVAFEM Website, or the public.
Who is a Surgical assistant?
Surgical assistants, also called Surgeon Assistants, provide assistance during an operation by performing a variety of crucial tasks. Their job is to provide aid in exposure (hold the camera during Laparoscopy), haemostasis, closure, and other intra-operative technical functions that help the surgeon carry out a safe operation with optimal results for the patient. The surgical assistant performs these functions under the direction and supervision of Dr Nikam/A/Professor Chan and in accordance with hospital policy and appropriate laws and regulations.
Generally, the surgical assistants will gap cover his/her charge. This means they will charge your insurance the scheduled fee. In such a scenario, there will not be an out-of-pocket expense to you. If this is not possible, Dr Nikam/A/Professor Chan will discuss this with you prior to your scheduled surgery.
Common Pre- and Post- Operative Questions
How do I prepare for a surgery?
For your safety and comfort, you must follow these pre-surgery instructions:
- Do not smoke or drink any alcoholic beverages during the 48 hours before & after your surgery.
- Bring any CT scan results, Ultrasound reports to the hospital. These are required for most surgeries.
- Bring to the hospital a list of your allergies and the doses of all current medications.
- Do not bring valuables or wear jewellery. All jewellery must be removed before going to the operating room.
- Do not wear contact lenses. Bring the case in which you place your eyeglasses or contact lenses; using the case will help prevent loss.
- Wear little or no makeup and remove all coloured nail polish.
- Wear casual, comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
- Please remove all body piercings before the surgery, especially the ones near the belly button and near the private parts. If they cannot be removed please let the attending doctor or nurse know about it.
- Brush your teeth without swallowing. If you wear dentures, you will be asked to remove them before surgery. They will be placed in denture cup and returned to you after surgery. Please leave partial-plate dentures at home.
- Clip or trim pubic hair as appropriate. Do not shave the pubic area as minor cuts can predispose to infections.
What precautions do I take after a surgery?
The recommendations are a general guide to your first few weeks at home following a surgery. However, the most important thing is to use good common sense in planning your activities. If it hurts, don’t do it. Your doctor will advise you regarding any particular precautions you might have to take following a surgery.
In general, you would be asked
- To avoid smoking, swimming & intercourse for
- 3 – 5 days for all minor vaginal surgeries &
- 2 – 4 weeks for Day procedures ( including Key Hole surgeries)
- 6 – 12 weeks for all major operations (Vaginal, Key Hole and Robotic Assisted Surgery).
- Avoid lifting heavy weights where a surgery for prolapse (with or without mesh) has been performed.
When can I drive?
Arrange for a responsible adult to drive you to and from the hospital. You will not be permitted to drive home after your surgery.
Generally speaking, following a minor procedure, you should be able to drive within few days. Laparoscopy is a major surgery, and individual recovery will dictate when a person can drive. Large cut (open surgery) requires a person to refrain from driving for 4- 6 weeks.
If in doubt, contact the AEVAFEM specialists for further advice.
When can I start my exercise programme?
Again, this is dependant on the nature of your, surgery. Following a Minor procedure, few days are sufficient. Major operations require a recovery period of 2-6 weeks. Additionally, if you have had a prolapse repair, it may be longer, up to 12 weeks. If in doubt, contact our staff for further advice.