Patient Information

Frequently asked questions

  • What to bring to your first consultation?
    • A referral letter from your GP, other specialist / Emergency doctor
    • Previous operation reports (if applicable)
    • All x-rays / MRI / CT scans and reports or other relevant imaging of the affected region
    • Medicare card / DVA card
    • Private health insurance card
    • WorkCover claim number and prior written approval if work cover claim.
  • Do I need a referral?

    A current referral is required to see a specialist. This will ensure that you receive a Medicare rebate for a portion of the consultation fee. Generally, a GP referral is valid for 12 months and a referral from a specialist is valid for 3 months.

  • Does Dr Watson usually run on time with appointments?

    Dr Watson makes every effort to stay on the booked time schedule. However, occasionally emergencies occur or some patients require more time than anticipated. We apologise, in advance, if this results in a delay.

  • My Surgery:

    Dr Watson operates privately at Northern Beaches Hospital, Frenchs Forest and St Luke’s Hospital, Potts Point, Sydney.

  • When should I fast for surgery?

    Generally, fasting should commence 6 hours prior to surgery. This includes no food(including chewing gum, boiled lollies and milk based drinks). Water is safe until 2 hours prior to surgery.

    On the day before surgery, you will be contacted by the hospital or one of Dr Watson’s team to advise the exact fasting times. This helps to eliminate extended fasting periods.

  • Should I take my regular medications on the day of surgery?

    Medications such as blood pressure tablets, should still be taken as usual on the day of surgery. Some medications, such as diabetic and blood thinning medications, may be withheld prior to surgery. Please discuss with Dr Watson at the pre-surgery consultation visit.

  • How do I claim from my health fund?

    If you require surgery, fees will be discussed after the consultation and you will receive a written cost estimate of the total surgical fee.

    Part of your surgical fee will be claimable from Medicare and part from your health fund (this amount will vary depending on your level of cover and health fund). In some surgical instances, there will be a ‘gap amount’ which is not covered by either Medicare or your health fund and will need to be paid by you.

    A member of Dr Watson’s team will invoice Medicare and your health fund directly after your surgery. The day following your surgical procedure, you will need to settle the gap payment.

    Please note that the surgical fee does not include the anaesthetist fee, hand therapy or any hospital excess or co-payment that may be required. We will provide you with contact details so that you can make enquiries about these fees.

  • When can I drive?

    A number of factors need to be considered regarding driving following hand surgery. It is important to consider not only your safety, but also the safety of other road users and pedestrians.

    A general anaesthetic and strong pain medications may impair your concentration or judgement and increase your reaction time to emergency situations. You must not drive for 24 hours after a general anaesthetic or sedation. A friend or family member will need to collect you from hospital following surgery.

    Pain may also be a factor that affects your ability to drive and your ability to safely manipulate and grip the steering wheel.

    A plaster or splint will reduce your range of motion and potentially restrict your ability to grip the steering wheel.

    Wearing a splint or a cast may have implications for your insurance.