Frequently Asked Questions

What is GI Alliance?

GI Alliance is the leading Patient-Focused, Physician-Led gastroenterology practice throughout the United States. The partnership between Digestive Health Specialists and GI Alliance ensures that we, as physicians, can continue our focused efforts to provide the highest quality personalized care to our patients. For further information about GI Alliance, click here.

What does a gastroenterologist do?

Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine dedicated to studying, diagnosing, and treating the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Your GI tract contains significant gastric organs, like your small intestine, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, colon, and liver.

Why do I need to see a gastroenterologist

Individuals that are 45 years or older, have a family history of colon cancer or experience frequent digestive discomforts, such as heartburn or diarrhea, may have something affecting their digestive system. For more information about symptoms, click here.

How will my family doctor work with my gastroenterologist?

Your GI doctor will communicate with your primary care physician about the results of your visit and/or procedure. They will discuss what is appropriate for treatment, follow-up visits and/or future exams if needed.

How do I make an appointment with a gastroenterologist

Find a gastroenterologist near you by clicking Provider or Location. Choose a gastroenterologist and click the “Request an Appointment” button. Once your request is received, a team member will call you to confirm your requested appointment day and time.

Can I schedule an appointment online?

Digestive Health Specialists enables patients to “Request” an appointment online via the “request an appointment” form on our provider or location pages. Once your request is received, a member of our scheduling team will contact you directly to coordinate your appointment.

What should I bring to my gastroenterologist appointment?

For your first visit, please bring a completed New Patient Packet (sent before your visit), any medical records that can be faxed by your referring doctor, a list of medications (including dose), an insurance card, and a form of identification (driver’s license). You should also bring cash, check, or credit/debit card to cover any visit co-payments.

How can I pay my bill online?

You can pay your bill from Digestive Health Specialists online here.

How can I access my patient records?

You can access your records and communicate directly with your physician’s office online, 24/7, via the Digestive Health Specialists Patient Portal here.

What insurance do you take?

We accept most insurances. Call one of our offices to confirm we accept yours. Call an office today.

Why is colon cancer screening so important?

A colon cancer screening is the process of looking for polyps and cancerous growths on the inner wall of the colon and rectum, even when no gastrointestinal symptoms are present. Click here to read more about colon cancer screenings.

How dangerous is colon cancer?

Colon cancer has one of the highest death counts from patients with cancer in the US. It is estimated that over 52,000 deaths from this disease will occur in the United States each year.

Is colon cancer preventable?

Yes, your gastroenterologist will detect and remove polyps (small growths on the colon’s lining) during the colonoscopy. Removal of polyps will significantly reduce the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer in the future.

What is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is an endoscopic procedure that allows the gastroenterologist to examine the colon’s lining using a long flexible tube with a camera on the end. To learn more, click here.

What should I do to prepare for a colonoscopy?

Your gastroenterologist will provide specific instructions to follow to prepare for your procedure. You must follow the instructions given to you by the gastroenterologists rather than the instructions that come with your prep kit. Please contact the office or find them online if you lose your instructions.

Where can I find pre-procedure/colonoscopy prep instructions?

To view the Digestive Health Specialists prep instructions, click here.

Will a colonoscopy require me to stay overnight?

No, a colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure.

What are the possible complications of a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is generally safe. One possible complication is causing a tear through the bowel wall that could require surgery. Bleeding might occur, but it’s usually minor and can be controlled through the colonoscope. Some patients may have complications or a reaction to the sedatives. Contact your doctor if you have severe abdominal pain, fever, chills, or rectal bleeding after a colonoscopy.

How will I get my colonoscopy results?

Your gastroenterologists will discuss the initial findings after the procedure before you leave. Tests may be ordered based on the procedure findings. If several tests are ordered, we like to review all results together to formulate a complete care plan. Pathology results, typically, are returned in less than a week.

What happens after a GI procedure?

After you wake up, your doctor will explain the exam results. Additionally, you will be monitored until the sedatives have mostly worn off. You may experience cramping or bloating during this time because of the air introduced into the colon during the examination. Due to the sedative, it is required that someone else drive you home. You should be able to eat normally, but your gastroenterologist may restrict your diet and activities for a short period. Do not return to work, drive a car, or operate heavy equipment for the remainder of the day.

What is the difference between IBD and IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are distinct gastrointestinal disorders. While they have some similar symptoms, IBS and IBD are not the same conditions, and they require very different treatments. It is essential to get an accurate diagnosis to properly manage either condition. To learn more about Irritable Bowel Syndrome, click here. To learn more about Inflammatory Bowel Disease, click here.