19500 Sandridge Way
Lansdowne, Virginia 20176
IMPORTANT OFFICE INFORMATION DURING THE PANDEMIC
***NEW INFORMATION AS OF NOVEMBER 2, 2020***
It is with sincere frustration that I report that recently a patient came to the office who knew they were COVID positive after attending a large indoor gathering. This person did not inform the office of this until significantly after their visit, having denied any risk factors when in the office, which was a bold untruth. By the time we were made aware, the 14 day isolation period had passed. We are grateful that no office personnel or other patients were adversely affected. However, as we all know even dating back to grade school, the rules are made for the few who break them, not for the many who comply with what is asked.
Thanksgiving is coming up. COVID cases are on the rise. People are going to attend family gatherings. The risks will therefore increase. We see patients actively undergoing chemotherapy in the office on a daily basis. Obviously these are high risk people whom we need to protect. Therefore, for at least 2 weeks after Thanksgiving, I will not be allowing any "routine" office follow up visits. It is not worth the potential risk. When you make your appointments, you will be asked more intensive screening questions. Please be honest. I will look at COVID incidence data after those two weeks, and then make a decision about how I will manage in-person visits for routine follow ups heading toward the Decemebr holidays. This will likely be a week to week decision throughout the holidays. As usual we will of course see anyone with a suspcious mammogram, abnormal biopsy, or other appropriate clinical concern, but for now, routine visits will have to wait. However, PLEASE CONTNUE TO GET YOUR APPROPRIATE BREAST IMAGING. Also, we are happy to have other family members/support persons be virtually present via video during your appointment, but in order to keep the traffic in the office down to a minimum, and unless an additional person is required to be at your visit to help with mobility, emotional distress, or other important factors, only the person whose appointment it is will be allowed into the office. There may come a time when we ask you to wait in your car and then invite you into the office when we are ready for you to go directly to your appointment, but we are not instituting this at this time.
It is possible that we may see a shutdown on services at imaging centers again if the COVID numbers rise, but at this time, no imaging centers have indicated that this is planned for the near future. If that happens, I will post it here.
VC 11/02/2020 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I wish to update you regarding what you need to bring imaging to the office with regard to your breast images. This info is copied from another page in the website, just to be certain as many of you can see it as possible.
Breast images are now accessible to physicians through secure portals at all radiology centers. This allows images to be accessed through a computer. Because of this, we no longer require that you pick up any films or CDs of imaging for your office visit, unless the imaging was done out of the area. We also access the radiology reports in this manner. Below is a list of facilities for which we have computer portal access. If your facility is not on the list, please call our office:
Reston Radiology: Loudoun Imaging in Ashburn, Fair Oaks Imaging Center, Womens Imaging Center of Reston (on the Reston Hospital Campus)
Fairfax Radiology - all locations are accessible, including Inova Loudoun Hospital, the Cornwall campus, and what used to be called RIA in Lansdowne and CountrySide/Sterling (these are now part of Inova/Fairfax Radiology)
Washington Radiology - all locations are accessible
Progressive Radiology in Winchester
I DO NOT have computer access to imaging from: Winchester Medical Center, Novant facilities including Haymarket, Prince William Hospital, Fauquier Hospital, Virginia Hospital Center, George Washington Hospital system, Medstar Georgetown Hospital system, Medstar Washington Hosptial Center, Johns Hopkins System/Sibley. Imaging from these sites MUST be provided on CD.
AN IMPORTANT WORD ABOUT DIGITAL AND 3D BREAST IMAGING:
When viewing breast images via computer, please be aware that the image quality is NOT THE SAME as what the interpreting radiologist sees, as the radiology viewing system is very sophisticated and of significantly higher resolution than monitors outside of the imaging center. In that regard, it is sometimes difficult for me to render a completely independent review of your images. If that is true in your case, I will discuss it with you after I review your images in the office.
The 3D portion of a 3D mammogram is read dynamically by scrolling through a series of images rapidly, much like a video, and your eye is drawn in and out of the tissue uncovering the anatomy better than a single flat (2D) image. Until recently, the 3D portion of a mammogram study could be scrolled through ONLY ON THEY SYSTEM WHERE IT WAS RECORDED, ie, only in the imaging center where it was taken, NOT via computer outside of the imaging system. HOWEVER, Loudoun Imaging Center in Ashburn and FairOaks Imaging Center have software that allows me to scroll through the images remotely, thankfully! The only other site for which I can do this is Progressive Radiology in Winchester. Therefore, for local imaging needs you may wish to consider having your imaging done at Loudoun Imaging in Ashburn, (or Fair Oaks Imaging Center for our Reston/Herndon/Chantilly area patients) so I can see what the radiologist sees, and not just the 2D portion of your study. When our new office facility opens and the imaging department in the office is up and running, I will have an actual complete radiology workstation on which to view images, and will be able to see everything the radiologists from Loudoun Imaging or Fair Oaks Imaging can see, including the dynamic 3D imaging, with the same high resolution with which they interpret breast images!
OTHER OFFICE INFORMATION DURING THE PANDEMIC
You are required to wear a covering over your nose and mouth when coming to the office. There is a link below to a really easy way to accomplish this. Wearing a mask does not replace social distancing, and just to be clear, a mask or face covering is to help keep the wearer from spreading the virus, if the wearer is a COVID carrier without symptoms. Wearing a mask does not protect you from getting the virus from someone else. To lower that risk, again, hand washing, distancing, keeping hands away from the face, and completely avoiding those who are ill or may have been exposed are still your best protections. (The mask comments here of course do not apply to medical personnel wearing specialized medical masks to help reduce their own risk of infection while caring for sick patients).
As a physician, my vocation is one of dedication to protecting you from illness. Please do your part to help protect me, as well (I am over 60 so in the at-increased-risk age group): Do not come to the office if you have a temperature of 100 or greater. Do not bring children or friends to your visit. If you need a support person during your visit, one person only with you is fine, and they have to abide by safety rules as well.
Do not come to the office if you have cough, shortness of breath, or any respiratory symptoms, fever, new body aches, nausea/GI upset, have been near a "healthy" person who has tested positive, if you have been near a COVID sufferer, if you have anyone near to you who has been to the highest affected areas such as New York, or other large cities. Please wait for 2 weeks to be seen if you have traveled on a plane.
We need to work together to kick this COVID thing in the pants. Be safe, keep each other safe, and do not believe the snake oil salesmen when there is information about supplements or treatments you can buy to prevent or cure this illness. NONE of it is medically proved to help. PREVENTION is our best protection.
Best meme I've seen lately: "Do not change your behavior to avoid being infected, assume you are infected, and change your behavior to avoid transmitting".
Check back to this page frequently, I will keep it updated as things evolve.
Thanks in advance for your patience.
Virginia Chiantella MD FACS