FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I need a referral?
Dr Samaras welcomes new patients to his rooms. A referral is not required to consult him however it can provide useful details about your medical history and presenting foot or ankle problem. Correspondence will be sent to referring practitioners (Podiatrist, GP, Physiotherapist and others) as part of a multidisciplinary approach to treatment.
What does FACPS stand for?
FACPS stands for Fellowship of the Australiasian College of Podiatric Surgeons (ACPS).
Fellows of the ACPS are specialist podiatrists who have completed extensive, post-graduate medical and surgical training, which qualifies them to perform reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. This qualification allows for specialist registration as a Podiatric Surgeon. The fellowship is independantly accredited by the Australian and New Zealand Podiatry Accreditation Council (ANZPAC). The qualifications are recognised by Australian State and Federal Governments in Law. Fellows of the ACPS are included within both the Health Insurance Act and the National Health Act. Dr Dean Samaras is a Fellow of the ACPS.
Is the surgery painful?
Modern surgical and anaesthetic techniques are used to ensure little to no pain is experienced immediately after your operation. This is due to the use of multimodal pain management. This current concept includes a number of methods to reduce the need for strong medication. It also allows for earlier ambulation, improved sleep and a more positive experience than foot surgery performed many years ago. The list below describes some of the techniques used:
-Layered compression dressings in your foot and ankle to protect the wound(s) and reduce swelling and pain
-Long acting local anaesthetic solution at the surgical site so the operated area is numb upon waking from sedation/general anaesthetic.
-Combination of mild and stronger pain relief medications and anti-inflammatories for only a short time (approx 3 days) following the surgery.
-Early rehabilitation exercises to reduce stiffness and scarring at your surgical site
Dr Samaras will discuss this topic further with you at your consultation. This is to ensure all medication sensititivies are identified and the right medications are given to reduce the risk of adverse reactions.
How much does it cost?
Costs associated with any treatment will be discussed with you in order to consider prior to proceeding. There are 3 cost components to your surgery which are:
If you are having minor surgery in the rooms then only the surgeon's fee applies. There are several private health insurance funds that contribute towards your consultation, surgical and hospital costs. Hospital coverage varies between insurers, your fund may pay only the default amount required of them whilst others cover the full amount. You have the option of transferring to another insurer if your current insurer provides default cover only, without any waiting period. At this point in time you are not able to claim surgical costs via medicare, as is the case with most dental procedures. You may however claim a portion of your consultation fee from medicare if you are referred by your GP with an Enhanced Primary Care plan (EPC).
Your surgical fee includes 3 months of follow up consultations. This means you do not have to pay each time you present for your follow up consultations after your surgery (this includes both hospital based surgery and minor surgery in the rooms).
Can I drive after my surgery?
After most foot surgery (except for minor procedures) you are required to wear a protective surgical shoe for 3 weeks. Research has shown that driving in a post operative shoe reduces your break response time. Whilst it is physically possible to drive in this shoe, it may compromise safety and your car insurance may not cover you in case of an accident.
If your surgery is on the left foot only you could drive an automatic car as early as one day after your surgery.
How should I prepare for my upcoming surgery?
Prior to your surgery please ensure you have asked Dr Samaras all questions relevant to your procedure(s) and recovery before proceding. This includes questions relating to time off work, driving, costs and any others you may have.
Please remember to bring in any x-ray films or other scans on the day of surgery.
If you are having a day surgery procedure, please ensure you have a family member or friend to accompany you home on the day. If your are required to stay overnight dont forget to bring any regular medications with you to the hospital.
If sedation or a general anaesthetic is required for your procedure then information about your fasting time will be provided. You will be required not to eat or drink anything during this time.
Routine footcare should be performed prior to the procedure including washing feet thoroughly including between the toes, trimming of toenails and removal of any nail polish. Avoid scubbing feet too aggressively before the day of your surgery as this could cause mild abrasions and may increase the risk of infection.
This information and more will be provided to you formally prior to your surgery.
What should I expect at my initial consultation?
Dr Samaras will take the time to review your presenting problem and take a thorough medical history. X-rays, other medical imaging and pathology results will also be reviewed. This is important in order for him to get to know you and your individual needs. Your work, family, travel and other life commitments will also be considered to ensure the best treatment plan is developed. The conservative and surgical options will be discussed and time will be set aside for any questions you have. Further tests may be required however due to his high level of clinical diagnostic experience all uneccesary tests will be avoided. Dean values multidisciplinary care and will correspond with your referring practitioner(s) and other members of your medical team as required.
Will I need time off work?
The amount of time required off work will depend on both the surgery and the type of work you do. It can vary from 1-2 days for minor procedures and several weeks if you are having major procedures. As a general guide 1-2 weeks off is typical following most forefoot surgery. Most work places are flexible and alternate duties can often be arranged. Please discuss this with Dr Samaras prior to your surgery in order to arrange the best return to work plan with your employer.
Is foot surgery successful?
Foot surgery, on the whole and particuarly bunion correction, is more succesful now than it was many years ago. Surgical and anaesthetic techniques have advanced making them more reliable and less invasive. The recovery process is focussed on maximising function and minimising use of medication not on bed rest and strong pain killers like it used to.
Dr Samaras will discuss what is most important to you to achieve out of having surgery. This may be to reduce/resolve pain, improve shoe fitting, return to walking/running or a combination of the above. Of course there are risks associated with all types of surgery and those most relevant will be discussed with you at your consultation. You will be encouraged to ask questions about these risks in order to make an informed decision about proceeding with any treatment.