About Dr. Fontaine
Dr. Jacques Fontaine is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He currently practices Thoracic and GI Oncology at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. He was rated the top thoracic disease doctor in the Tampa Bay Area in 2021, 2019 and 2018 by Tampa Magazine.Make an Appointment
There are several steps patients can take to ensure they have a successful visit with Dr. Fontaine and his medical team.
The initial consultation may seem intimidating at first, but preparing for your visit will make it easier to get all the information you need, along with the very best cancer care.
Bring Imaging Scans
Preparing your medical records and questions beforehand will save time during your visit.
It is important to bring all CDs and reports available from all of your recent scans. Reports of your scans will be read by your medical team, but must be accompanied by the actual images on CD.
Images are worth a thousand words. Your surgeon will be able to give you a much more complete picture of your health than with reports alone.
You shouldn’t rely on your doctors or other hospitals to automatically send the CDs of your recent scans. In many cases, communication is inconsistent and the CDs can either arrive late or not at all.
The best practice is to hand-carry the CDs with you to your visit to prevent them from getting lost in the mail. It’s regrettable when a patient arrives from far away for a consultation but is unable to receive a complete treatment plan due to a lack of available imaging.
Write down all the questions you would like to ask your surgeon during your appointment. Leave room so you can write the answers alongside the questions.
Below are questions you might consider asking your thoracic surgeon:
- How does my diagnosis affect my treatment options?
- How long will each treatment take?
- What are the benefits and risks of the recommended treatment?
- What are the potential side effects?
- What clinical trials do you offer and do I qualify for any?
- Will treatment affect my daily routine or prevent me from working?
- Do you offer support resources such as counseling or support groups?
- What numbers should I call in case I have more questions?
You may even ask permission from your surgeon to record the consultation so that you can play it again later at home. This way, you’ll make sure you didn’t miss anything and can review the visit as needed.
Bring a Family Member or Friend
Having another set of ears in the room might lead to questions you hadn’t thought to ask or remind you of key talking points. In addition to providing emotional support, a loved one will also help you take notes and remember what the doctor said.
If you plan on recording the consultation, you may also share the recording with family members who did not have the chance to be with you in person at the time of the consultation.
Organize Your Medical Records
Gather all your previous relevant medical records and fax a copy of them to Dr. Fontaine’s nurse at 813-449-8944. This will allow Dr. Fontaine and his team to review them in advance and decide if you need any further testing (such as a PET scan, biopsy or MRI) before your appointment. This will make your initial visit more productive.
You should also plan to organize your medical records and sort them by type or physician. Your thoracic surgeon will want to review pathology reports alongside records related to your diagnosis.
If you have records that are not easily sent from the office, such as records from a doctor who has since changed locations, make sure you have copies to bring with you to Moffitt.
Prepare a Medication List
In some cases, your medication history may be inaccurate or incomplete on your previous medical records.
Create a list of all medications you are taking using the following guidelines:
- Provide the name of the medication, dose and the amount you take daily
- Include any over-the-counter medicines, herbal supplements and vitamins
- Add any allergy information or history of reactions to your medication list
- Detail any additional information on how the medication is taken (with food, as a shot, pill or tablet, etc.)
Make sure the list is updated prior to the day of your visit and provide copies for family members. Consider making smaller copies for your purse or car in case any get lost.
You might also want to call ahead and find out if Dr. Fontaine and his team want you to bring your medication bottles with you. For some patients, this method is easier than verifying a medication list.
Make Travel Plans
If you are travelling to Moffitt from far away and require any additional testing or scans, Dr. Fontaine and his team will try to schedule them for the same day as your visit.
If several tests are needed, you should plan to stay overnight on the Moffitt campus to allow two days to complete all necessary tests prior to your visit with Dr. Fontaine.
Moffitt provides special discounted rates at several nearby hotels with free shuttle service to the cancer center.
If you anticipate difficulty traveling to Moffit due to distance or accessibility, call ahead and ask what transportation services are available to assist you.
Dr. Fontaine and Moffitt Cancer Center have coordinated with oncologists around the state to provide you with many options when it comes to your care. Patients can be seen first in their hometown, travel to Moffitt for surgery and return home to continue that treatment as part of a single cohesive treatment plan.