Your First Visit
Appointments are available 7:30 am to 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday and occasional Saturday appointments. Whenever possible, new patient consultations should be arranged through your primary eye doctor, with the approval of your primary care physician if required by your insurance. We limit our practice to diseases and surgery of the retina and do not prescribe glasses or contact lenses. Upon your arrival in our office, the Tennessee Retina staff will enter or update your registration and insurance information. To avoid delays, it is very important that you have your insurance card(s) and photo ID with you. You may also choose to obtain and fill out your registration forms prior to your arrival. To print your forms now, please click here.
At Tennessee Retina we want you to have clear expectations of the duration and substance of your appointment. We will do whatever we can to make sure you are provided the absolute highest level of care and attention.
Depending on the complexity of your problem, your first visit with us may require over 2 hours. This is due to all of the necessary services being performed in our offices. Rather than scheduling multiple appointments in various settings, we strive to accomplish as much as possible at your first visit for your convenience. Results of testing are usually provided on the same day. If special diagnostic testing and/or treatment is necessary, you may need to be in our office for 3 hours. To perform an adequate retinal examination it is necessary to dilate your pupils at each visit. Because this may blur your vision for up to 6 hours and make your eyes sensitive to light, you should arrange to have someone drive you home. Sunglasses may make you more comfortable during your trip home following your appointment. Disposable sunglasses are available at our office for your convenience.
An Ophthalmic Technician will initially greet you, will note your present problem and record a detailed ocular and medical history. Please bring the names, addresses and phone numbers of the doctors involved in your care, so we may keep them informed about your diagnosis and treatment. You will be asked for a list of your current medications. Your vision and intraocular pressures will be measured, and eye drops will be used to dilate your pupils. Pupillary dilation requires up to 30 minutes and is done with virtually no pain or discomfort.
Your physician will then perform a thorough ophthalmologic and vitreoretinal examination. If necessary, additional diagnostic testing will then be done. This may include retinal photography, fluorescein angiography, ocular ultrasound and visual field testing.
Once your examination and any additional tests are completed, your physician will explain the results to you. The doctor will take all the time necessary to explain your specific problem(s) and to outline a course of action. We encourage you to bring a close family member along for the examination and explanation to be certain that all your questions are answered and that the doctor's recommendations are fully understood. A complete consultation report will be sent to your referring eye doctor and to your medical doctor.
Once you begin treatment, our staff will do absolutely everything to make sure you are comfortable, relaxed and properly prepared for your specific procedure.
Treatments and procedures may include injections, laser and/or operating room surgery.
Laser treatments and injections are performed in our office. It may be necessary to schedule these treatments to be performed at a later date following your consultation visit. If the need for treatment is urgent or if you are traveling a distance that makes such future scheduling difficult for you, laser and injection treatments may often be performed on the same day as your consultation visit. In this case, the time you spend in our office may be longer than expected; we strive to accommodate your need for urgent treatment yet stay on schedule for other patients' appointments.
If operating room surgery is required, it will be scheduled at one of our affiliated hospital facilities. Depending on the nature and urgency of your particular condition, surgery may be done the same day as your consultation, the following day or scheduled at an appropriate time in the future. After surgery, you will be given complete instructions for post-operative care, which will include a quick follow-up appointment the next day.
If same-day surgery is anticipated and you are from outside the Nashville metropolitan area, we will help arrange overnight hotel accommodations for you and your family, if desired. You will need to return to one of our offices the day after surgery for your first post-operative check-up.