What is a Neurotologist?
Neurotologists are Otolaryngologists (ear, nose, throat or ENT doctors) who have completed additional training in medical and surgical diseases of the ear, skull base, and related structures, as well as the connections between the ear and the brain. A Neurotologist is a highly specialized ear doctor.
What are some of the symptoms associated with an inner ear disorder?
- Unsteady feeling
- A sensation of moving while you are still
- Loss of balance and/or falling
- Blurred Vision
- Feelings of disorientation, fogginess, pressure or fullness in the head or ears
- Magnification of the perception of internal body sounds
- Tinnitus (sounds in the ear, such as ringing, buzzing, hissing, roaring, etc.)
- Hearing loss
How is an inner ear disorder diagnosed?
Diagnosis of an inner ear disorder is often difficult because there are many potential causes. A comprehensive battery of advanced and specialized hearing and balance tests are performed in the office. Additional testing includes lab work, specific imaging studies and other specialized testing should the doctors feel it is warranted.
I have completed hearing and balance testing with another doctor/clinic. Will I have to repeat this testing?
Yes. Dr. Gianoli and Dr. Soileau will only render a medical opinion and/or diagnosis based on hearing and balance testing performed in their office. There are many factors to support this requirement. Physician supervision of all testing, highly trained staff, precisely calibrated equipment, strict testing protocol, accurate and effective administration of the test, and fluctuating and changing patterns of highly complex ear conditions are just a few of these factors. Prior testing will be used for comparison purposes only.
How can I prepare for my first appointment?
1. It is important to complete the New Patient Packet. This packet is comprehensive and requires time and thought. It is intended to address many areas that are often over looked and may not be reported to the doctor. It is suggested that you take your time in completing, research any questions that require information that you do not recall and look over the completed packet again prior to your appointment. Your initial appointment is a one hour scheduled consult with the doctor and will cover information provided in this packet.
2. Bring any old hearing test, balance/vestibular testing and imaging studies of the head on a disc (CT/MRI of the head). Provide any records that pertain to your symptoms and history.
3. An insurance verification form has been included in the new patient packet for your convenience. We recommend that you contact your insurance company by using the number on your insurance card and ask the questions listed on this form and fill in the information blanks. This form was generated to help you better understand your insurance policy and coverage. Note: Please inform your insurance carrier that the physician you will be seeing is not a participating physician in your network. (Medicare Patients: Please inform your insurance carrier that the physician you will be seeing is not a participating physician in your network and has Opted-Out of Medicare).
Do I need a referral to see the doctors?
No. We do not require a physician referral. We do suggest you contact your insurance company and inquire about your out-of-network coverage along with any referrals/authorizations required by your insurance plan prior to scheduling an appointment.
Why don’t the doctors accept my insurance?
Dr. Gianoli and Soileau realize that there is something fundamentally wrong with our nation’s medical care system when many physicians feel trapped in the grasp of “corporatized” (HMO and Managed Care) medicine, but powerless to “change the system”. They have chosen another path. Understanding that they cannot “change the system”, they realize they can only change how they practice medicine. Dr. Gianoli and Dr. Soileau have broken away from all managed care plans, see fewer patients and spend more time with each patient. Rather than handing over what little control they have left over the patient care environment to others, they have taken back complete control and designed treatment protocols with nothing but the patient’s interest in mind. It is Dr. Gianoli and Dr. Soileau’s practice to recommend only what is best for you, not what is best for your insurance company.
Will my insurance cover any of the charges/procedures/surgery?
The contract with your insurance company to pay for a portion of your medical care is between you and your insurance company. We will always provide you with a list of our fees and billing codes before any services are performed. We recommend you contact your insurance carrier to verify your benefits so you will have a basic understanding of how your insurance will reimburse you for services provided by our office. Unfortunately, insurance carriers are not always willing to provide their allowable fees or disclose which billing codes they will cover. If this is the case, you may want to contact the LA Department of Insurance ( www.ldi.state.la.us
Services ordered by our doctors but provided by other facilities (i.e. lab, x-ray, surgery center and hospital facility fees) are often covered under the contracted terms of your insurance plan.
Do you offer any payment plans or financing options?
No. We do not charge interest, therefore, we are unable to offer in-house financing or payment plans. If you are unable to pay for your services in full with cash, check or money order, you may put the balance on your credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover) and make monthly payments to your credit card company.
I am scheduled for balance testing. Is there anything I should do to prepare?
In an effort to achieve the best results, we ask you to do the following:
- Have a driver to pick you up after the testing
- Wear comfortable clothing (no skirts or pantyhose/stockings)
- Wash your face thoroughly- no creams or makeup on the face, especially eyeliner & mascara.
- Eat lighter foods on the day of testing.
- No alcoholic beverages/liquid medications with alcohol for 72 hours prior to testing
- Discontinue all medications 72 hour prior to testing except those for heart, blood pressure, depression or seizures. Stop allergy, sleeping pills, decongestants, pain, diet and dizziness medications.
- If you have questions about medications, please call our office.
Can anyone be with me in the room during testing or procedures?
No. Our staff is highly trained to meet the needs of our patients and the doctors are always accessible on-site throughout this process. Our primary focus must be on the patient and obtaining the best possible test results to aid in their treatment. We need the patient’s complete attention during testing, and the rooms are not designed to accommodate visitors.
I am traveling from out of town. How long should I plan to be there?
We work very hard to schedule efficiently and limit your time away from home. There are many different scenarios that determine how long you should plan to stay. Some general guidelines are as follows:
- New patient visit: 1 day
- New patient visit with diagnostic testing, imaging and results: 2-3days
- Follow up visit: 1 day
- Repositioning procedure: 1 day
- Surgery: varies based on the type of surgery and individual patient needs