My OB Referred Me to a hematologist....anyone Have Experience with This?

Updated on October 22, 2011
C.D. asks from Pflugerville, TX
12 answers

My doctor had some extra blood tests run when I had my glucose test a couple of weeks ago. Quick background: in between my first two daughters I had a d&c following a miscarriage, lost a lot of blood, had to be transfused. Fast forward to second daughter's birth...labor/delivery went great, but then my placenta tore and while nurses were pulling pieces of my placenta out I had a lot of blood clots. (gross, sorry.)
Anyways because of those two happenings my doc wanted to make sure I didn't have a blood disease called Vonn Willebrands (sp?)...I tested NEGATIVE for that. But he still saw something in my blood that made him refer me to a hematologist, who is also an oncologist.
Whew! If you just got through all that info, thanks! question is - what could I possibly have that I would need to see a hematologist for? I already know I am anemic and take iron...what else could I need to see him for?

Thanks again for any input.
*little edit - yes, of course I can call my ob and asked why he is referring me....I didn't realize it was an oncologist as well and it was after hours when I researched this doc I was referred to and couldn't call the office. Thanks so much for those of you who answered the question, it really gave me peace of mind.

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answers from Santa Barbara on

Hi C. - I work as a testing specialist for a national lab. I just want to address the part about the hematologist that is also an oncologist. I call on physicians that have their own practices, not working in hospitals....most of them are dual specialties and are called hem/oncs

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answers from Phoenix on

Hi C.,
I wouldn't be too worried. It sounds to be like your OB is being very cautious and effcient in making sure he has all his/your concerns covered. A regualr OB does not specialize in blood disorders.
Also, don't be too concerned that the hematologist is also an oncologist. The two usually go hand in hand. I currently have a hematologist who is also an oncologist and all of the doctors in that particular practice carry both titles.
I don't want to disregard what Diane said below but I'm almost certain that you do not have ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura) because if you did they would have you in the hospital right now and not just a referral to the hemotologist. She is right that ITP has to do with blood clotting but not in the way your concerned about. ITP has to do with a lack of blood clotting because there are no platelets in your blood and that is what you need in order to clot. Your issue sounds to be the opposite of ITP. (I would know I'm a three time survivor of ITP!)
I wish you the best. I hope you have an uneventful pregnancy and delivery!

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answers from Portland on

Factor V Leiden is a blood disorder that can cause abnormal blood clotting. I used to work for Oncologist/Hematologists and a lot of our hematology referrals turned out to be nothing too scary but a lot of PCPs refer just to make sure since they don't specialize in blood disorders. Don't be overly worried.

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answers from Chicago on

My son sees a hematologist for Hemophilia. Most hemotologists are in practice with oncologists. The hemotologists are not oncologists though so don;t let it scare you. There are a ton of different issues in the blood that could be related to all types of disorders, many mild and some not so much but can be managed. Vonn Willebrands is one, usually by women. It has to do with blood clotting. My niece is seeing a fertility specialist and a hematologist as a carrier to make sure that when she does get pregnant, she carries well and safely. I would think the OB wants to make sure there are not problems that are hidden.



answers from Minneapolis on

I would call your doctor and ask.



answers from Dallas on

there are all sorts of thrombophilia disorders(basically blood clotting disorders) - i can't remember all of them, but Factor V Lieden is one, APS is a somewhat common one that most women discover in relation to pregnancy and pregnancy loss. there are TONS of different disorders, and it's not true that "only" a hem/onc can write for IV iron, but it IS almost always a hem/onc that makes the determination on EXACTLY which clotting disorder there is... often times, it's only treated during a pregnancy, with a daily lovenox injection in the belly. try not to worry, they're just being cautious and giving you the gift of knowing what/if is going on inside your body - don't let the oncology part scare you! my husband is a pharmacist in a hem/onc clinic, and he has LOTS of "hematology only" patients. good luck, hope you get some good answers.


answers from Redding on

Sounds like you have a good OB and he/she wants to make sure things are fine. I'm sure when you see the hematologist he/she will answer all of your questions.



answers from Tulsa on

only a hematologist or oncologist can prescribe an iron iv to fight the anemia.



answers from Houston on

I concur, it doesn't sound like ITP. I have had friends with pregnancy losses who were later discovered to have clotting issues. Sometimes they are very early miscarriages, but stillbirths are common too. There's something the doctor can do to prevent that, though, if they know what's wrong. So I'm glad you are seeing a specialist!! A friend of mine has a healthy 2 year old girl after dozens of miscarriages, thankfully I learned of clotting disorders and a specialist was able to diagnose her after I told her.

Have faith and courage!



answers from New York on

My daughter has something called ITP (its a really long name I can't say or spell lol) Basically it is a very low blood platelet count. It can be dangerous because it has to do with blood clotting. My daughter started black and blueing very easily that was what prompted the testing. Her blood platelets are only 30 to 40 thousand, they should be 200,000.00. We have to keep her monitored. When she decides to have children she will have to go to a high risk doctor because of the clotting factor. She can't even have a tooth pulled without checking her platelet counts first. I am wondering if the doc is suspecting this with you as well. Once my daughter was diagnosed I realized it isn't that uncommon. I was told it could have happened after a virus, and if it lasts longer then 6 months it can become chronic. She also has to take iron. but the doctor tells me she is doing fine. Worse case is she would have to have some IV treatments or have spline removed down the line. She was a hematologist as well at an oncology center for it. Keep us posted and good luck!!



answers from Kansas City on

Hem-Onc Drs. specialize in treatment of blood disorders and cancer. They see many patients not cancer related, like iron deficiency, anemia, pregnant women with ITP, and other blood disorders, like sickle cell, etc. Often a referral by your OB is just for a second opinion, you may not even need treatment. Sometimes ITP is treated with steroids and with pregnancy it is most likely temporary and pregnancy may be the only time it shows up. In severe cases, that don't respond to conservative treatment, might require removal of spleen.
Don't hesitate to have that evaluation, one thing you don't want is something treatable to progress into a long term problem. Be glad that your OB is on top of things and astute enough to call in a specialist for something beyond his/her expertise.



answers from Houston on

My son has von williebrands and I too got upset when I made his appointment with a hematologist and they answered the phone "Cancer and Hematology". but after going to this clinic I learned that most all Hematologist work as Cancer dr also. Just really scary to hear.

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