Gastroenterology FAQ’s - Frequently Asked Questions
What is a gastroenterologist?
A gastroenterologist is a highly trained physician who has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and conditions. Most commonly, gastroenterologists treat their patients for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), abdominal pain, hemorrhoids, rectal bleeding, altered bowel movements and liver disease.
What are endoscopies?
A GI physician performs endoscopic procedures using endoscopes or flexible tubes that when inserted in the digestive tract allow for inspection, biopsy and therapeutic interventions. Endoscopy may permit the detection of certain cancers, polyps or ulcers, or it may be used to determine the cause of bleeding in the digestive tract. Advanced endoscopic procedures may be used to diagnose and treat conditions of the liver, gallbladder or pancreas. Upper endoscopies examine the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, while lower endoscopies, or colonoscopies, examine the bottom portion of the colon.
What is a screening colonoscopy?
The American Cancer Society recommends that all adults should undergo colon cancer screening beginning at age 50 or earlier, depending upon the risk of developing colorectal cancer. A screening colonoscopy is a commonly ordered health screening examination of the colon. The patient is given a mild sedative drug before the procedure. During a colonoscopy, a thin lighted tube is inserted through the rectum allowing the gastroenterologist a full view of the lining of the rectum and the entire colon. If polyps are discovered, they may be removed as part of the procedure.
Do I need colon cancer screening?
Colon cancer screening is best performed by colonoscopy and should begin at age 50 (as recommended by the American Cancer Society) and be performed every ten years. If a person has a family history of a parent or sibling having colon cancer before age 65, then colon cancer screening should begin at age 40 or ten years younger than the age of when the family member was diagnosed with colon cancer. Otherwise, a physician will indicate the frequency of colon cancer screenings to you following an initial consultation.
What should I expect on the day of my procedure?
Traditionally, patients that undergo procedures are in the office for about an hour and a half, which includes pre-operation as well as recovery. During an endoscopic procedure, the patient is sedated by an Anesthesiologist who administers a combination of drugs. The patient will not be awake during the course of the procedure, and upon recovery the patient has no memory of what happened during their procedure. BE SURE TO: Bring someone to drive you home, DO NOT work, and DO NOT make any important decisions the day of your procedure.
What kind of prep is required for my procedure?
Preparation varies depending on your health history and the procedure planned. Click HERE to review specific preparation instructions of the procedures we provide. It is very important to follow your instructions carefully, as incomplete preparation may require an additional appointment.
What is the difference between a gastroenterologist and colorectal surgeon?
A colorectal surgeon deals with surgery of the colon. If you are unsure whether or not you need to go to a colorectal surgeon, we recommend first seeing one of our three gastroenterologists, physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. If necessary, one of the physicians will refer you to a colorectal surgeon if necessary.
Which insurances do you accept?
- BlueCross / BlueShield
- UHC Empire Government Plan
- Meritain Health
- United Healthcare
Additionally, we accept cash, credit, and checks for self-pay patients and all other payments.
What is your payment policy?
If you opt to self pay and would like to know about our fee schedule, call our office (516) 785-6800 billing department for more information.
How do I request a refill for a medication?
Call our office (516) 785-6800 and leave a detailed message including your spelled name, date of birth, medication, pharmacy with location, and phone number. You can expect a refill within the following 48-72 hours.
When are appointments available?
Call our office (516) 785-6800 Monday-Friday during business hours to inquire about an appointment.
How long should my appointment take?
For initial consultations, plan to spend approximately 1 hour in the office where you will complete paperwork, meet with your physician, and schedule your next appointment or procedure. For procedures, see "What should I expect on the day of my procedure?" for more information.
What should I expect on my initial consultation?
Your physician will record and evaluate your social, medical, and familial history and then proceed to examine you. Your physician will then review a treatment plan, which may include an endoscopic procedure.
What should I bring with me to my appointment?
- Insurance card
- Driver's license
- List of current medication(s)
- Calendar, in order to schedule any future appointments