What do I do if I am interested in becoming a new patient at Spectrum Neurology Center?
Call 504-454-7246 to schedule an appointment. You may be requested to send available medical records prior to scheduling your appointment. Our fax number is 504-454-3299.
What do I need to bring with me the day of my appointment?
Valid insurance cards and picture ID are required. Please bring a list of your current medications and any medical records, diagnostic imaging and reports, if available. If possible, please complete the New Patient forms prior to your appointment to minimize your wait time.
Do I need a referral in order to become a new patient?
This may depend on your insurance. Some HMO plans do require a referral. Please call 504-454-7246 to inquire about scheduling.
Where is the clinic located?
We are located at 3409 Division St right off of Veterans Memorial Blvd. Please see the site map for location details.
What type of physician is Dr. Beaucoudray?
Dr. Beaucoudray is a Board Certified Neurologist and Board Certified Pain Specialist. He specializes in the treatment of painful neurological conditions as well as all other neurological disorders. He performs all diagnostic and treatment procedures in the office.
What type of physician is Dr. Carimi?
Dr. Carimi specializes in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation or PM&R. Her focus is in the diagnosis and treatment of non-surgical musculoskeletal and neurological conditions including neck and low back pain, arthritis, sports injuries, stroke, spinal cord injury and EMG/NCS testing. She is also approved by the state medical board to recommend Therapeutic Marijuana.
Where does Dr. Beaucoudray perform his procedures?
For your convenience, procedures are performed at Spectrum Neurology Center using state-of-the-art equipment. Performing procedures in the office will keep your overall cost down with less out-of-pocket expense compared to performing the procedure at a surgical center. Some procedures, such as radiofrequency ablation, are performed at a local ambulatory surgical center on an as needed basis.
Do I need to stop taking any medications before my procedure?
Do not stop taking medications without discussing with your treating doctor or primary care physician first. Some medications will affect treatment. Dr. Beaucoudray will instruct you on how to take your medications on the day of procedure. If you are taking blood thinners such as Aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix, Xarelto, Heparin, Persantine or Eliquis, you should inform our staff and discontinue these medications 72 hours prior to your procedure ONLY if your treating physician approves of the temporary discontinuation. You may resume your blood thinners immediately after the procedure.
Do I need a ride home after my procedure?
Typically after any medical procedure, it is strongly advised to have someone drive you home. If you are only having an EMG/NCS performed, you are able to drive after the testing.
When can I return to my normal activities?
Typically, patients are back to normal activities within 24 hours. This can vary depending on the type of injection performed and the patient.
What are common side effects of the steroid that is used?
Potential side effects include increase in blood sugar, increase in blood pressure, muscle cramps, water retention, flushing and insomnia. All of these are transient and generally only last for a few days.
What is an EMG/NCS test?
EMG/NCS is a diagnostic test that consists of two parts, EMG (Electromyogram) and NCS (Nerve Conduction Study), often called “electrodiagnostic studies” or “nerve test.” This is a set of tests that determine the function of nerves and muscles and evaluates the overall health and quality of the peripheral nervous system.
Why is this test performed?
EMG/NCS is typically recommended to help diagnose the cause of neurological symptoms, such as numbness, tingling, pain and/or weakness in the arms and legs. For instance, If you have hand pain/numbness, this test can differentiate between carpal tunnel syndrome (pinched nerve at the wrist), polyneuropathy (nerve dysfunction due to an underlying condition such as diabetes or thyroid disease), and radiculopathy (pinched nerve in the neck.) This test can help your doctor:
- localize the source of the problem
- determine if the condition is due to a muscle or nerve disorder
- rule out certain diagnoses
- determine the prognosis and severity of the injury
- help guide your physician if future testing is needed
How do I prepare for an EMG/NCS?
Please avoid applying oils, creams or lotions to your arms or legs prior to the testing. Sticky electrodes are placed on your skin during the procedure so dry skin is recommended. You may take all medications that are prescribed to you. Typically, no medications alter the results of the testing. Please call the clinic at 504-454-7246 for any questions prior to the testing.
How is the testing performed?
The nerve conduction study (NCS) is performed first. This consists of placing adhesive electrodes on the surface of the skin in the region of the nerve that will be tested. Using a hand-held stimulator, the physician conducts a small electrical impulse to the skin’s surface to evaluate individual nerve function. The impulses are quick and may cause a mild muscle twitch. It feels similar to a small rubber band being snapped against your skin.
The EMG testing is performed immediately after the NCS. This involves a tiny sterile pin electrode inserted into a muscle to evaluate the muscle and nerve integrity. Each muscle is tested one at a time. Nothing is injected into the muscles. Multiple muscles may need to be tested based on your condition and findings from other muscles tested.
Who performs the EMG/NCS test?
Dr. Beaucoudray and Dr. Carimi perform all portions of the EMG/NCS. They do not employ technicians to perform any part of the study.
How long will the test take?
This test is customized to each patient depending on the complexity of the problem. On average, testing takes about 20-30 minutes but can take longer if further testing is needed.
When will I find out the test results?
We will provide the results immediately following the testing and will generate an on-the-spot report before you leave. Outpatient referrals who are seen only for testing will be given an original copy of the EMG/NCS report for personal records and another copy will be faxed to the ordering physician.
Does the EMG/NCS testing hurt?
This test may be uncomfortable and some patients may report soreness. Most patients tolerate this test with minimal discomfort after the test is completed.
Are needles used during the testing?
A pin electrode, comparable to the size of an acupuncture needle, is used during the EMG portion of the testing. Large needles similar to that which is used to draw blood or administer shots are not utilized.
Will I bruise after my EMG/NCS?
Most patient will have minimal evidence of the testing performed; however, some may have minor bruising at the pin electrode insertion site.
Who qualifies for therapeutic marijuana?
Patients who have neurological and musculoskeletal conditions such as chronic intractable pain, severe muscle spasms, spasticity, seizure disorder, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease qualify for medical marijuana. Other diagnoses include PTSD, Crohn’s, glaucoma, cancer, HIV/AIDS, autism and cachexia/wasting syndrome. In order to receive a recommendation for therapeutic marijuana, you must be evaluated and examined by a physician. The patient must also be a current resident of Louisiana.
Can a doctor write a prescription for therapeutic marijuana?
No, you do not receive a prescription or a medical marijuana card. Therapeutic marijuana can only be recommended by a physician who has a Therapeutic Marijuana license. The physician provides a recommendation for a one-month supply of marijuana which will be sent to one of nine approved pharmacies.
What do I bring with me?
You will need a current government issued photo ID and proof of Louisiana residency. If you do not have a Louisiana Driver’s License or ID card showing Louisiana residency, a government letter, bank statement or utility bill with a Louisiana address dated within the past 6 months is also acceptable. Please also bring any pertinent medical records and a list of your current medications.
What are the risks of using therapeutic marijuana?
Potential side effects of marijuana include cognitive impairment, mental confusion, anxiety, paranoia, dry mouth, red eyes, sedation, increased appetite, elevated heart rate, headache and impaired balance/coordination. You should not operate any motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.
Why can’t I smoke or vaporize marijuana?
Inhaled forms of therapeutic marijuana (smoking, vaping) are not legal according to current Louisiana legislation. This is due to potential risk of side effects, increased risk for abuse and difficulty determining accurate dosing.