Click on a question below to learn more Will I be pain free and how long will I benefit from the procedure? The goal of interventional pain management is to improve function and reduce suffering. We provide as much pain relief as possible with the least amount of risk. Ideally everyone wants to be pain free, but realistically not everyone can be completely relieved of pain. Every patient is different and will have different results. Sometimes after a series of injections, you can experience partial relief for months. Will I need someone to drive me home? Yes, if you have a procedure performed with sedation, you need someone to drive you. This is due to the fact that the sedation used can impair your reaction time and make you groggy. Will I require more than one treatment? Most of the time, yes. Most procedures are performed in a series of two or three (over the course of several weeks). Occasionally just one procedure provides lasting relief of pain. Are these treatments alternatives to neck and back surgery or other surgeries? These treatments are options that are frequently explored prior to considering any type of surgery. Conservative treatment should be your first option, not a last resort. The overwhelming majority of patients are candidates for minimally invasive, non-surgical treatments. However, there are certain rare signs that would necessitate surgical consultation. Fortunately, there are several fine neurosurgeons as well as orthopedic spine surgeons with whom we frequently consult in the New Orleans area. Will the procedure hurt? The vast majority of our patients maintain that the procedures are relatively painless. The majority of patients elect to receive intravenous sedation, which usually reduces the discomfort of the procedure. Vital signs and oxygen levels are monitored to assure your safety during the procedure. Do I need a physician referral? We do appreciate referrals from a wide variety of physicians and other professionals, but a physician referral is NOT necessary. We will check with your insurance company prior to an appointment to let you know. Should I stop taking medication prior to treatment and when should I resume them? Generally, you should continue your medications as prescribed by your treating physicians including pain medications. If you are taking any blood thinners such as Coumadin, Plavix, Persantine, or Heparin, you should inform our staff and discontinue these medications 72 hours prior to your procedure ONLY if your treating physician approves the temporary discontinuation. You may resume your blood thinners immediately after the procedure. If you are a diabetic do not take your insulin or oral hypoglycemic medicines before the procedure. Please bring your medicine with you and you may take it after the procedure. What methods are used to evaluate my chronic pain? History and physical examination by the doctor and physician’s assistant, as well as radiological studies, such as an MRI, CT, bone scan, and x-rays as recommended are used to evaluate each patient. Are there risks to interventional pain treatments? Yes, all medical management tools from medicines to invasive procedures such as surgery carry risks. Generally, interventional pain management techniques carry unlikely and minimal risk. Upon your consultation visit, these risks will be explained. How long does the procedure take? Although most procedures take five to fifteen minutes, you may remain at our facility up to 2 ½ hours because of admission, evaluation, sedation, procedure, recovery, and discharge time. Can I come for a consultation only? Yes, you are always welcome to visit to discuss your pain problems, possible causes, and treatment options. Should I tell my other doctors about coming to see Dr. Waring? Most certainly. A “team” approach is the most effective way to approach any refractory or severe medical problem especially the treatment of pain. A combination of different modalities and therapies provide the best care. Letters, reports, and procedure notes are provided to all referral sources. What do I need to bring with me the day of my appointment? Insurance cards and picture I.D. are required. Any type of prior evaluation material such as an MRI or report, CT, bone scans, and nerve conduction studies are useful. Will I be given a pain medicine prescription when I leave? The policy of The Pain Intervention Center regarding the use of controlled substances is delineated on the link, “Controlled Substance Policy”. Generally, post procedure pain is minimal, however, a single, non-refillable, non-replaceable prescription is given upon discharge on the procedure day. In which insurance plans do you participate? We participate in almost all insurance plans. The Pain Intervention Center staff will verify your insurance coverage prior to scheduling an appointment or procedure. Our insurance specialist will answer any questions you have related to your benefits and discuss patient responsibility for services. This will give you a better understanding of what will be covered by your insurance company. I've had prior surgery and still have pain, can this help me? Many of our patients have come to us after having failed spine surgery or having developed recurrent pain after successful surgery. Because of the degenerative changes that often occur in the lumbar and cervical spine after fusion surgery, these patients may also benefit from our interventional techniques and treatment options even if they have failed injections by other practitioners in the past. Controlled Substance Policy It is the opinion of Patrick H. Waring, M.D. and The Pain Intervention Center that controlled substances carry significant risks in the treatment of chronic, non-cancer pain. The precision pain relief methods used in at The Pain Intervention Center are an alternative to using habit-forming drugs that carry the risks of drug dependence, abuse, and addiction. In addition to impairment of function, respiratory compromise, and constipation, there are risks of abuse, addiction, drug dependence, illegal diversion (selling) of medications, and development of drug resistance. Generally, post procedure pain is minimal; however, a single, non-refillable, non-replaceable prescription may be given upon discharge on the procedure day.