FAQs

Frequently asked questions for patients

 

How do I arrange a consultation?

To arrange a consultation with Dr. Kelly, Dr Barkhoudarian or with one of our other specialists, please call the Pacific Pituitary Disorders Center office at 310-582-7450 or fill out our online form to be contacted through email. We will respond to you by email within 24 hours.

What should I bring to my appointment?

  1. Your most recent relevant imaging (e.g. MRI and/or CT scans) on CD or on film. (This is not essential if these studies were performed at Providence Saint John’s Health Center).
  2. Your most recent relevant blood and/or tests.  (This is not essential if your laboratory studies were performed at Providence Saint John’s Health Center or UCLA Medical Center).
  3. Prior medical records and consultations from your referring physician, unless you have confirmation that they have already been faxed to 310-582-7495.
  4. Your medical insurance card(s).
  5. If your insurance is not accepted by our medical group, or if we do not have written authorization on file, you will be asked to sign a waiver stating that you will be financially responsible should the insurance company deny our claim.
  6. If you have HMO Insurance, please be sure to bring your “Letter of Authorization” from your HMO. If you are scheduled to see more than one doctor, you will need an authorization for each doctor.

Important things for your appointment:

How can international and out-of-state patients receive care?

If you are living outside the United States, we are happy to provide you with information about how to get your care at the Pacific Brain Tumor Center and Providence Saint John’s Health Center.

Please call the Pacific Brain Tumor Center office at 310-582-7450 or email us.

Helpful Information for International Patients

How do I get to the Pacific Brain Tumor Center?

Conveniently located on Santa Monica Blvd. between 20th and 23rd Streets in Santa Monica, Pacific Brain Tumor Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center is easily accessible from all points in Southern California. It is approximately 15 miles from Los Angeles International Airport.

Patient drop off and valet parking is located at 2121 Santa Monica Blvd. in front of the hospital. Valet parking (including handicapped parking) is $13.00. We unfortunately cannot validate parking. A limited number of metered parking places are available on surrounding streets.

Please note the Emergency Room Entrance is located on Arizona Avenue.

To reach the clinic:

  • Proceed through the main hospital entrance into the Howard Keck Center
  • Take the Howard Keck elevators down to the Garden Level (GL)
  • As you exit the elevators, turn right
  • Follow signs to the Cancer Center, Brain Tumor Center & Neurosciences reception desk

Download Directions to the Pacific Brain Tumor Center

 

 

What should I do to prepare for surgery?

Pre-operative tests, evaluations and recommendations:

You will need the following completed within 30 days of your surgery:

  • Blood work:
    Complete blood count (CBC), clotting studies (PT/PTT), electrolytes, metabolic screen.
  • Medical clearance (history and physical):
    A note from a doctor stating that you are healthy enough to undergo surgery.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG):
    Needed if over 40 years old or a smoker.
  • Chest x-ray:
    Needed if over 40 years old or a smoker.
  • Cardiology clearance & cardiac stress test:
    For patients with heart problems, hypertension, diabetes or heavy smokers.
  • Pulmonary function tests:
    For patients with pre-existing lung problems.
  • Neuro-ophthalmology evaluation and formal visual field testing:
    For patients with visual problems related to a brain or pituitary tumor.
  • Endocrinology and pituitary hormonal evaluation:
    For patients with pituitary tumors or tumors affecting pituitary gland function.
  • Additional tests and clearances may be needed.  

What should I do to prepare for my upcoming craniotomy or endonasal surgery?

  • Stop smoking for at least 10 days before surgery and minimize alcohol intake for at least 5 days before surgery.
  • Please check with your doctors for instructions on taking medication prior to surgery. If you are under the care of a cardiologist and are taking heart medications (especially blood thinners such as Aspirin, Coumadin, or Plavix), speak to your cardiologist for specific pre-surgery instructions.
  • For pain issues prior to surgery, please take Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol.  Do not take Aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil (all of these drugs act as blood thinners) or other painkiller unless approved by Dr. Kelly and the surgery team.
  • Please avoid herbal medications containing Ginkgo Biloba, Vitamin E, Feverfew, Fish Oil, St. John’s Wort, Echinacea and high-dose garlic, cayenne, ginger, clove or turmeric pills (cooking with these ingredients is fine, just avoid these herbs in pill form). All of these herbs are blood thinners.
  • If you’re instructed to take medications on the day of your surgery, please take your medicine with a very small sip of water. Please bring any medications you’re currently taking to the hospital for your anesthesiologist to review.

Download pre-operative preparation instructions

What should I expect after surgery?

After Craniotomy Surgery

  • Most patients will spend at least one night in the intensive care unit (ICU) and then typically 2 or 3 additional nights on a regular (non-ICU) ward.
  • You will likely have some incisional pain and mild to moderate headache for which you will be given pain medication.
  • You may have a CT scan or MRI before your discharge home.
  • Your first follow-up appointment will be 2 – 3 weeks after surgery.
  • Your 2nd follow-up appointment  will typically be 2 – 3 months after surgery.
  • Additional follow-up appointments with other specialists will be arranged as needed.

Download Discharge Instructions After Carniotomy Surgery

After Endonasal Surgery

  • Most patients will spend two nights on a regular (non-ICU) ward.
  • You will typically have some incisional pain if you had an abdominal fat graft taken and mild to moderate headache for which you will be given pain medication; nasal congestion and some bloody nasal drainage is also common.
  • You may have a CT scan or MRI before your discharge home.
  • Your first follow-up appointment will be 2 – 3 weeks after surgery.
  • Your second follow-up appointment will typically be 2 – 3 months after surgery.
  • Additional follow-up appointments with other specialists will be arranged as needed.

Download Discharge Instructions After Endonasal Surgery