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Is a physician referral necessary?

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Before considering a genetic test it is important that you have an ophthalmologist who is knowledgeable about inherited retinal disorders to participate in your ongoing care. We do not think that it is a good idea to perform genetic testing without the involvement of a physician for a variety of reasons including:

  • The accuracy of a genetic test is dependent to a significant degree on the accuracy of the clinical diagnosis
  • The sensitivity of the genetic test is greatly increased by an accurate clinical diagnosis
  • Genetic test results can be complicated and need to be carefully explained to patients and family members (not just sent to them in the mail)
  • Patients can often benefit from various types of rehabilitation which can be arranged or facilitated by a knowledgeable clinician
  • Patients with inherited disorders of the eye can develop additional or related eye problems that are treatable in some cases

Occasionally, patients choose to come to Iowa City to see Dr. Stone, or one of his colleagues. In that case he can provide both the medical care and the genetic testing as part of their care. This is usually not practical for people who live more than a few hundred miles from Iowa City; and it is certainly not necessary to be able to have the testing done by our lab. However, you will need to identify a doctor who will actually order the test for you and arrange to have the results explained to you by an experienced geneticist or genetic counselor.

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Retrieved Mon, 2024-05-20 16:53
Last modified Tue, 10/13/2009 - 14:30