How does the process of becoming a CEC patient work? Here we’ve compiled some answers to our most frequently asked questions to get you started. As always, don’t hesitate to contact us anytime at Heather@CenterForEndo.com if you need further information or have any additional questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you considering the CEC for treatment, but have general questions? We have a lot of information on our practice website at http://www.centerforendo.com; however, here are some FAQs to get you started!
Are you accepting new patients? Does the CEC accept patients from outside of Atlanta, GA?
Yes, and yes! In fact, our patients have come to us from more than 40 countries all over the world – all of North America, the UK, Brazil, Japan, Australia, Iceland, Egypt, Africa, New Zealand and beyond. If you are dealing with endometriosis – or think you might be – we would be honored to try and help you restore your quality of life through our compassionate, expert treatment. Dr. Albee is not accepting new surgical cases; however, Dr. Sinervo, our Medical Director, operates four days a week and will be very happy to work with you on your case.
Do you offer phone consults or records review?
Yes, absolutely! Our records review and case consult is FREE. The records review process is outlined here: http://centerforendo.com/sendingyourrecords.htm. Please read through it before submitting any case files. We are among the few excision centers in the country that still offer free reviews, as we have for the past 25 yrs.
I’m going to just send off my records to the Center right now. Is that okay?
NO! Please register first. Unsolicited files will be destroyed. We MUST have registration data for you before we can review and monitor your case. Please see http://centerforendo.com/sendinfo.htm for details. Thank you for understanding our need to adhere to a specific process in order to best serve your needs and protect your healthcare information.
How much does LAPEX surgery cost?
Please note we are unable to determine your specific fee prior to reviewing your case. Each woman and girl’s situation is unique and thus is handled on private basis with CEC Surgical Coordinator, Jean Williams. Please know we strive very hard to make it a possibility for all patients to receive care with us to the extent we can, and thus fees will only be determined based on the specific patient’s review, her recommended procedures, her personal financial situation and insurance details. For information on how we work with insurance, visit our article: Understanding Insurance as it Relates to your Care & Treatment at the CEC. There is no average “ballpark” figure which we can accurately offer you in advance, as out of pocket maximums will be based on the patient and her needs/case. All patients work with Jean individually after their initial consult with Dr. Sinervo and a surgical contract – including exact fees – is then established before scheduling any procedures and coming to Atlanta. Credit cards are accepted and we can certainly explore payment plans and potential discounts on a case by case basis. Thank you for understanding.
I heard the CEC doesn’t accept insurance. Is this true?
No. We are out of network providers. That means, you may be eligible for out-of-network coverage for your surgery with us. We will help file and check your insurance, etc. As noted above, you may wish to read this comprehensive article located at http://centerforendo.com/insurance.htm to understand more. More importantly, please know – we strive to make it a possibility for every patient to come to our Center for treatment and will work with each patient individually based on her needs. Please do not base your decision to seek possible care with us on someone else’s costs and personal situation, which you may have read about on the internet or Facebook. Each case is handled differently according to the woman or girl’s individual needs.
Do I have to make multiple trips to your office before actually having surgery?
No. We know this is an inconvenience for the majority of our patients. While you are always welcome to come to the office, it is not a requirement to schedule surgery. We recognize the significant burden it places on women and their families both in terms of time and expense; thus, we do as much as possible upfront via email, postal mail, fax and phone prior to actually requiring you to come in. Northside Hospital, where our operating room is, approaches our patient’s cases the same way and will do as much as they can before you arrive in Atlanta as well. The same is true for our collaborating team members.
How long will I need to stay in Atlanta if I come for surgery?
Every case varies, but the average stay is approximately 1 week. Arrive in Atlanta, pre-op in our offices the next day, surgery the day after that, recuperation in your hotel or lodging for a couple more days, and then return home to fully recuperate (this is a simplistic approximation; you will be provided more specifics about your own case at the time of booking). Check our website for area hotels and remember to ask for medical discount rates when booking.
How many days will I be hospitalized after my surgery?
Again, this varies based on the individual, but in general, our surgeries (with the exception of bowel resection, hysterectomy or other major component to your surgery) typically require only a 23 hour hold – this is considered *outpatient*. An overnight stay allows us to treat your post-op pain and observe you before sending you home in the morning. All procedures are done laparoscopically, but should you have a bowel resection, for example, you will be held longer; approximately 72 hours. Again, these are general averages – each case is unique.
Is it okay for me to be driven home after surgery? It’s a 2/4/6/8/etc. hour drive.
Yes, you can be driven home once you are released, but remember: you will be in pain and we strongly suggest you to stop every 1.5-2 hrs to stretch your legs, use the facilities, etc. For travel tips post-operatively, see our website at http://centerforendo.com/goingthedistance.htm and http://centerforendo.com/traveling.htm. If your ride is more than a couple hours, you may wish to postpone the drive home or consider other options.
What blood work will I need prior to surgery?
Unless you are specifically directed otherwise by Dr. Sinervo with regards to your own case, we merely perform a finger stick at your pre-op. Northside Hospital will advise you in your pre-op phone consult if there is anything they require.
I have religious restrictions (i.e. Refusal of Transfusion) which I want honored during surgery. Is this a problem?
Not at all. We gladly honor, respect and uphold your wishes and beliefs accordingly. We have had many patients from diverse religious backgrounds and honor their needs accordingly.
I need a babysitter/car service/religious organization/grocery store/other resource while in Atlanta. Can you help?
We will try to assist you as much as we possibly can with your various needs while in the Atlanta area. However, please understand that we are a medical practice and thus may have limited knowledge of such services. Do let us know what you are looking in advance of your trip to Georgia, though, and we will try to accommodate you if we can.
I don’t have bowel disease, so do I still need to bowel prep?
Only if you want the surgery. Yes, CEC requires all patients to prep. Sorry, folks! Our prep typically involves an enema/oral laxative combination, but this will be addressed with personally at the time of your booking. For helpful prep tips, please visit: http://endometriosis.org/resources/articles/how-to-survive-a-bowel-preparation
Will I need pads or tampons after surgery?
Panty liners for a few days following surgery are expected; discuss the specific needs/expectations of your case with your surgeon.
Does Northside Hospital have private rooms?
Yes, all rooms with the exception of the post-op holding and recovery bay are private.
Can my partner/spouse/family member stay with me overnight?
Visitors can see you all day until approximately 9pm or so; partners/loved ones may be able to spend the night with you chair-side – check with your nurse. For policy regarding children, see http://www.Northside.com.
Do I need to make a follow-up appointment after surgery?
If your desire is to come in and see your surgeon before you leave Atlanta, you are certainly welcome and encouraged to do so. However, it is not required to be discharged, as your surgeon will be seeing you in the hospital prior to your release.
What if I have issues after surgery?
You need to call us and notify us as soon as possible. We cannot stress the following enough: *Email/posting on Facebook or internet boards/etc. are not effective means of communication regarding your personal healthcare* and you MUST *speak* with a medical team member as soon as your symptoms present following surgery by calling the office and triaging with our nurses. Our phone # is 770.913.0001. We cannot action cases we do not know about or that are publicly posted on social media (for us to do so would violate your privacy protection under the law), so please contact us.
Can the CEC help me complete my FMLA and/or Disability paperwork?
Yes. There is a nominal fee of $35.00 payable to the Center for Endometriosis Care/Robert B. Albee, Jr. MD & Associates, LLC for our assistance with and completion of all Family Medical Leave Act and/or Disability paperwork. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Trish, Beth or Jean would be very happy to assist you by calling 770.913.0001 for questions regarding this specific matter.
How long has the CEC been in business?
CEC was formed by Robert B. Albee, Jr., MD over two decades ago around four guiding principles to assist those with (or who think they may have) endometriosis and pelvic pain. It is led today by Medical Director, Ken Sinervo, MD. We adhere to the following strict ethics:
- Recognizing subtle disease in all its manifestations;
- Removing all endometriosis while preserving a woman or girl’s organs;
- Performing pathological examination on all excised tissue; and
- Treating our patients with respect and compassion as partners in their health care.
Why is endometriosis so difficult to treat effectively?
Often misdiagnosed and ineffectively treated, symptoms of endometriosis often chronically persist because it is rarely treated through the laparoscopic excision – LAPEX – procedure we have been performing here for decades across thousands upon thousands of women and girls. Such incomplete treatment results from even well-meaning physicians who do not recognize the disease or remove it in its entirety, leaving deep endometriosis – along with painful symptoms and pathology – behind. Most patients who come to us from every corner of the globe have received prior, failed therapies. Suppressive medications and hysterectomy (and even in this day and age still, “pregnancy as a cure”) are often recommended as treatments or cures, which of course they are not. We believe the key to success is removing *disease*, not *healthy organs*. You can learn more about excision and endometriosis here.
True recurrence is actually low if all disease is thoroughly and meticulously excised from all locations. Through our LAPEX approach, women and girls of all ages – at all stages of disease – have an excellent chance of being pain-free for the long-term, with minimal chance of recurrent or persistent symptoms. We have now treated to date over 4,000 patients at our Center, exclusively through meticulous and painstaking laparoscopic excision, for more than 20 years. We have excellent long-term success rates among women and girls of all ages.
All laser surgery is created equal, right?
Wrong. Our surgeons are global leaders in the treatment of endometriosis and are among a mere handful of surgeons in the world who have perfected the C02 excision technique. Dr. Albee and Dr. Sinervo have long used the C02 laser to *dissect* the disease – this differs significantly from other, less meticulous surgical/laser techniques like vaporization and electrocautery/fulguration, or coagulation; all of which destroy the tissue, making microscopic evaluation impossible and do not remove all endometriosis – that’s why we don’t use those approaches. CEC surgeons use the laser as a *precision cutting tool*, NOT as a means of tissue destruction – vastly different from laser vaporization, etc. There is a very big, fundamental difference.
Endometriosis of the bowel, bladder and beyond can also be safely and completely removed with the laser through excision, as can dense adhesions and deep, infiltrating peritoneal disease. All excised tissue is sent to the pathology lab for examination. You have the security of knowing exactly what was found and removed in your surgery.
The tool is not as important as the skill of the surgeon. Excision can be performed using cold excision, laser, robot or other means; what is not as important as how. If a surgeon cannot excise, they cannot excise using any tool.
I want to get directions. Where are you located?
The Center for Endometriosis Care | Perimeter Town Center
1140 Hammond Drive | Building F, Suite 6220
Atlanta, GA 30328 USA
Toll Free: 866.733.5540 | Outside U.S.: 770.913.0001 | Fax: 770.913.0005
Web: http://www.centerforendo.com | http://www.centerforendometriosiscare.com
Facebook: centerforendometriosiscare | Twitter: @CtrForEndoCare
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ctrforendocare | http://centerforendo.com/traveling.htm
Where can I check your references?
Start here for links to various, unbiased testimonial websites and our references: http://centerforendo.com/references.htm. You can also just Google us or check with various internet support groups such as this one.
I still have questions. What should I do?
Call or write us anytime! The best place to get answers is directly from the CEC. We’re looking forward to hearing from you and want to help you however we can!