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The 3 Steps in Evaluation of Hydrocephalus:
Before Scheduling Your Appointment
Here are the items to forward to The Johns Hopkins Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Center so we can help you schedule your appointment:
- A referral letter or recent clinic note from the referring physician stating your diagnosis and why they would like you evaluated at our center.
- All medical records pertaining to your diagnosis, including clinic notes, radiology tests (MRIs, CTs, etc.), operative notes, discharge summaries and any blood/ lab or other tests that you may have had in the last three years. Medical practices will not release this information to us unless you have completed an authorization, so please complete the following Authorization for release of health information to Johns Hopkins and send it to your referring physician/s or the medical records department of the hospital that has your records. You can also return it to us and we will help with this process.
- Recent MRI/CT films or a CD of these tests, unless they were completed at Johns Hopkins Hospital. We need to review films to make sure all appropriate tests are completed. We may need to order a new MRI scan for more detail so we can better assess what kind of procedureis appropriate for you. If your insurance permits, we prefer if the scans are done in our facility using special protocols we have developed for cerebral fluid disorders. (If you make an appointment with our group, we will download these images into Johns Hopkins' electronic system so our experts can view them. The fee for this download ranges from about $13 -- $133 depending on the complexity of the exam, and most insurance companies will cover their portion of this charge.
- If you have an HMO insurance, please send an insurance referral from your primary care physician for your visit to our center.
If You Have a Shunt or Implanted Device
If you already have a shunt please forward operative notes from your previous surgeon that details what exact make and type of shunt you have. The shunt type determines if an MRI is safe for you and also determines what kind of study to perform if the shunt is working as it should. Likewise, if you have a pacemaker, stent or any metallic implant we need details about these devices from your physicians: Please complete the MRI screening form for your safety.
New Patient Questionnaires
Please complete the New Patient Questionnaire that matches your diagnosis and return it to us by mail or by fax (410-955-9126).
The questionnaires provide information that helps us choose the most appropriate specialist for you.
Please submit all of this information to the address below. We will contact you after reviewing your information, which can take 4 - 7 business days.
ATTN: Tammy Counts
The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Phipps 126
600 North Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287-1454
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to get an appointment?
We generally schedule new patient referrals within 3 to 4 weeks for routine appointments. We can see some patients within 7 to 10 days if your clinical information indicates a need for urgent assessment. After we receive all the above information, a physician reviews it to determine if additional studies are needed during your visit. This review can take up to 7 days. If you need other tests scheduled in addition to your clinic visit (such as MRIs, shunt patency studies, lumbar punctures, ICP monitoring or extended CSF drainage), it may take longer to coordinate all appointments so you can complete them in a single visit.
I just had a MRI scan. Why are you scheduling another one?
Evaluating cerebral fluid disorders requires certain sequences to be performed during the MRI to ensure accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. If the MRI you already had does not provide the level of detail necessary, we may recommend further MRI studies. Occasionally, based on findings on your neurologic exam an MRI of your spine may also be recommended.
Will my test results be available the same day I see the physician?
Some test results will be available the same day as your clinic visit, while other radiology exams may require specialist review and can take up to 5 days for a final report. Certain blood tests are sent out to specialty labs and can take up to 3 to 4 weeks. Please call back the ordering physician to confirm the reports.
Preparing for Your Appointment
- Please confirm the date and time of your appointment a few days before the actual appointment especially if you have multiple tests (x-rays, MRI, CT, shunt patency, physical therapy) scheduled on the same day. These appointments may be at different locations.
- Please arrive 30 minutes before your first scheduled appointment to allow enough time to park your car and register.
- If you cannot keep your appointment, please call us at 410-955-7482 or 410-550-1470 to cancel the appointment at least 48 hours in advance so we may schedule another patient from the waiting list.
- We encourage you to bring a book or snack with you so that you are comfortable before and in between appointments with the physicians and other tests.
- In addition to the physicians you may be assessed by physician assistants, nurse practitioners and physical therapists. They may administer multiple tests to assess your balance, gait and memory before you see the physician.
- If you already have a shunt, don’t forget to bring your shunt card with you to the appointment.