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Dr. Robert Galamaga
Dr. Robert Galamaga


Exp 16 years

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What Is a Hematologist?

A hematologist is a specialized doctor who manages and treats blood disorders. To be a hematologist, after completing medical school, a doctor completes residency training in a specialization such as internal medicine or pediatrics, followed by fellowship training certification in a subspecialty.

Hematologists are trained to treat blood, bone marrow, and lymphatic organ diseases, including blood cancers, anemias, and coagulation disorders. For example, a hematologist may treat hemolytic anemia, leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, thalassemia, arterial thromboembolism, and deep-vein thrombosis. Hematologists also may specialize in procedures such as bone marrow transplantation or transfusions. They use different blood tests and other types of tests to diagnose the underlying cause of the condition and accordingly treat the disease.

Hematologists work closely with other specialists like oncologists and surgeons to help diagnose and decide the course of treatment. A primary care provider will refer a patient to a hematologist when diagnosed with a blood-related disorder.

When Should I See a Hematologist?

Your primary health care provider will usually refer you to a hematologist. You might need to contact a hematologist if you have symptoms such as:
  • Abnormal bleeding and bruising
  • Swelling or tenderness in the arms or legs
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Bloody urine or stools
  • Fever,bone pain, weight loss

What Kinds of Tests Does a HematologistPerform or Recommend?

A complete blood count (CBC) test is generally performed if your healthcare provider suspects a blood condition. CBC includes:
  • Redblood cell count
  • White blood cell count
  • Platelet count
  • Hematocrit (HCT)
  • Hemoglobin(Hb)

Your hematologist may ask you to undergo one or more tests for diagnosis.These tests include:

  • Blood smear for blood cell morphology
  • Bone marrow test
  • Blood chemistry test
  • Prothrombintime (PT)
  • Partialthromboplastin time (PTT) and activated partial thromboplastin time(aPTT)
  • Fibrinogen and coagulationfactors activity assays
  • Internationalnormalized ratio (INR)

WhatQuestions Should I Ask a Hematologist?

You may want to ask a hematologist these kinds of questions:
  • What does my test result indicate?
  • What condition do I have? How severe is it?
  • What are the complications of this problem? How likely am I to get them?
  • What treatment do you suggest? What are the chances of a successful outcome?
  • Arethere any side effects of the treatment? What treatment alternatives do I have?
  • What changes do I need to make to my lifestyle such as diet, exercise, or smoking?
  • Do I have any limitations on exercises and activities?
  • CanI travel? Can I gotowork?
  • Is this condition hereditary? Should my family get the diagnostic testsdone too?
  • What are signs of a medicalemergency?

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Dr. Robert Galamaga
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