Frequently Asked Questions


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How long is a typical visit?
As a new patient anticipate a minimum of 2-3 hours from the time you check in depending upon the diagnostic tests needed. For an established patient, anticipate approximately 1-2 hours. Due to the nature of our practice, emergency consultations may lead to some delays. We appreciate your understanding. Please know that some eye emergencies require immediate attention to prevent permanent damage. We don't like making scheduled patients wait, but please know that if you experience an emergency that you will also receive such attention.
What do I need to bring with me to my first visit?
You should bring your insurance cards, photo ID, list of medication and dosages, and a driver if you prefer.
Do I need referral for my appointment?
Our practice is typically limited to consultations but we see patients for second opinions and referrals by family members or friends. Our practice is limited to diseases of the retina and vitreous. It is a patient’s responsibility to get any referral that is required according to your medical insurance. Referrals are obtained from your primary care physicians, optometrists, or ophthalmologists. Please call (405) 607-6699 extension 1 to schedule such an appointment.
How do I request my records?
A written request signed by the patient is required to release any medical records. Records are then mailed accordingly. We do not fax record requests to patients. A record request can take up to one week to process. One copy is provided for free. Subsequent copies will be provided at the Oklahoma State allowed rate of $10 plus 30 cents per page.
Do I have to pay anything at the time of my visit?
Depending on your insurance you may or may not be responsible for a co-pay. That fee is expected at the time of service. Patients without insurance should call our clinic for our current policies but typically payment in full for services rendered is required. Please see payment options for a list of insurance plans we accept. If you do not see your insurance listed, please contact us as we accept almost every plan available.
Will I be called-in at my scheduled appointment time?
All of our patients are here for different reasons and will be taken accordingly as close to their appointment time as possible. We require that your eyes be dilated prior to seeing the doctor. We ask that you please be patient for unforeseen emergencies.
Can I bring someone with me?
We prefer if you have a family member present to help with forms and any questions. You may want to have someone if you require a driver to get home after being dilated.
Do I have to be dilated on every visit?
Yes. In order to best evaluate your eyes, your pupils must be dilated so the doctor can see the retina. Every new patient is required to have both eyes dilated.
How long will my eyes stay dilated?
Approximately 4-6 hours.
Can I drive after my exam?
You will be light sensitive but if you are legal to drive you may. We will provide shades at time of checkout. However, for your comfort you may consider bringing a driver.
Do I have to stop my medications before surgery?
Medication should be discussed with your medical doctor and the surgical center.
Where do you perform your surgery?
Dr. Shah/Dr. Phelps has privileges at the following institutions:
Summit Medical Center: Edmond, OK
Oklahoma Surgicare: Oklahoma City, OK
Integris Baptist Medical Center: Oklahoma City, OK
Mercy Hospital: Oklahoma City, OK St. Anthony Hospital
(Plaques for choroidal melanoma only): Oklahoma City, OK
What is an "operating room team"?
Besides the surgeon, we have a well trained anesthesiologist, circulator nurse who is a RN, and one or two surgical scrub technicians who assist the surgeon. We also have preoperative and postoperative nurses to complete the care.
What is the difference between a retina surgeon and a general ophthalmologist?
A general ophthalmologist is a specialist who performs general eye care including refraction, cataract surgery, and other minor surgical procedures. A retina specialist or surgeon is highly trained in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of retinal problems such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, macular holes, macular puckers and retinal detachments. A retina specialist trains for many years beyond medical school. Like an ophthalmologist, a retina specialist trains for 4 years, but then must be accepted into a fellowship program for an additional 2 years to learn the intricacies of the retina and retina disease surgeries.
What are my physical restrictions after surgery?
These depend upon the procedure. Please consult with your RVC specialist regarding your instructions. You will be given written instructions on your first post-operative visit.
How long will I have to take drops after surgery?
You will be given instructions to follow and our ophthalmic technicians will review them with you.
How long will my eye have a patch after surgery?
You will go home from surgery with a patch over your eye. Please keep it on until your next appointment. The patch will be removed during your exam and you will be given complete instructions on what to do next.
How long will I have to be face down after macular hole surgery?
Dr. Shah and Dr. Phelps typically recommends patients stay face down for 2-5 days after surgery. Depending upon the nature of your problem and your ability to position, this time may be shorter or greater.
Do you have to wait in between each drop?
You should wait 5-minutes between each drop.
Can I wash my hair after surgery?
After the second day post operative you may.
Am I allowed to pick up any weight after surgery?
No more that 20-pounds of lifting and no bending over.
What if I forget to take an eye drop?
Take the drop once you remember. If it is almost time to take the next dose, skip the one you missed and continue with the schedule.
What if I put my drops in the wrong eye?
Don’t do it again.
How many drops should I put in my eye?
No more than one drop of each medicine should be administered at a time. Your RVC specialist will instruct you on how frequently to use the drops depending upon your condition.
Do I have to wake up during the night to take my drops?
No. Drops are to be instilled during waking hours only unless instructed by us.