Your First Office Visit

What to Expect During Your Visit to Our Offices

At Southeastern Retina Associates, our physicians and staff are committed to providing individualized attention and the best care possible, all in a comfortable and compassionate environment. We strive to make every visit to our offices as pleasant as possible for our patients and their families. We welcome your questions and feedback.

We have provided some important basic information for new and returning patients below to help you prepare for your visit.

What to Expect During Your First Appointment

Thorough Examination

Your first appointment will include a comprehensive eye evaluation, including a detailed examination of your vitreous and retina. It may last up to three hours. You will have drops applied to your eyes to dilate the pupils so that your retinas can be examined. We recommend you bring a companion to drive you home, as you may not be able to see clearly after the dilated eye exam.

Pupil Dilation 

A technician will perform the initial portion of the diagnostic testing. He or she will review your medical history and collect additional information that is important for the doctor to know prior to the examination. The technician will check your intraocular pressure, which is a routine test for glaucoma. He or she will also administer eye drops to dilate the pupils of your eye. It is necessary that the pupils be widely dilated in order for the doctor to examine carefully the entire interior portion of the eye. It takes approximately 30 minutes for the eye drops to work, so you will be asked to return to the waiting room until your eyes are ready for examination by your doctor.

The dilation of the pupils can affect your vision for several hours, especially in bright light, so avoid activities that require perfectly clear vision until your eyes are back to normal.

Physician Examination 

During your examination, the doctor will examine the front portion of your eyes (cornea, anterior chamber, iris, lens and vitreous) with a microscopic device called a slit lamp. The most important part of your examination, however, in this office is the detailed examination of the retina.

During the course of your examination the doctor will be describing in detail what he sees. This information will be included in a letter that will be sent promptly to your referring physician. At the conclusion of the examination, the doctor will review with you in detail his findings and recommendations. Please feel free to ask him any questions that may come to your mind. We recognize that often questions arise in your mind after leaving the office. If so, please feel free to call us with your follow-up questions.

Following your visit with the doctor, the technician will review with you any medication that has been recommended for you. He or she will also review with you any tests or treatments that need to be scheduled.

What to Bring to Your First Appointment

For your first appointment please bring the following items with you:

  • All your medical insurance cards
  • A doctor referral form if you received one from your general practitioner or another doctor
  • Your driver’s license or government issued ID card
  • A list of all medications/dosages you are currently taking—prescription, vitamins and over the counter drugs
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers of any other doctors you are presently seeing
  • All prescription glasses you wear
  • Any eye drops that you are currently using
  • Do not have anything to eat or drink if your physician has referred you for surgery
  • If you have diabetes, bring your medication with you
  • If you are a member of an HMO, you will need to bring an authorization number and/or your physician referral with you; if not, your examination may have to be postponed
  • Sunglasses to wear home after your appointment

Please click the following link to download our new patient forms. You can print, complete and bring them with you to your first appointment:

New Patient Information Packet & Forms

What to Bring to Every Appointment:

Please bring the following items with you to every appointment:

  • Because we also file all private insurance forms for the convenience of our patients, it is important that you bring your insurance cards with you to every visit, including Medicare and Medicaid patients
  • All prescription glasses
  • An extra sweater and a light snack and drink
  • If you have diabetes, bring your medication with you
  • Sunglasses to wear home


You will need to pay your co-payment and any deductible amounts at each appointment. Payment can be made by cash, bank debit card, check, MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover.