What to Expect at a Gastroenterologist Appointment

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Gastroenterologists are doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the digestive tract. Patients experiencing trouble with their esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, gall bladder and biliary system may need to visit a gastroenterologist.

Before Appointment

  • Prior to her first appointment with a gastroenterologist, a patient should make note of any questions or concerns she wants to ask the doctor. She should also be prepared to give the doctor an accurate overview of her medical history and disclose any recent symptoms she has experienced.

During Appointment

  • Upon arrival, patients will have to fill out the proper paperwork and present their insurance information to register themselves with the office. Once in the examination room, most patients are required to undress from the waist up and are given a hospital or paper gown to wear. A nurse will record the patient's height, weight, blood pressure, temperature and other vital signs before a doctor will ask questions about her health, symptoms and medical history. The doctor will then discuss any possible diagnosis and plans for further testing or treatment.

Other Tests/Procedures

  • Following the initial appointment, the gastroenterologist may schedule certain other procedures to obtain a solid diagnosis or to perform additional testing. Common tests and procedures include gastrointestinal X-rays, ultrasounds, endoscopic evaluations and colonoscopies.

Follow-Up

  • Following all appointments and additional tests and procedures, surgical intervention may be necessary. Depending on a patient's particular diagnosis, there are a variety of surgical procedures that can help alleviate symptoms and correct disorders of the digestive tract and related organs and body systems.

Acid Reflux

  • Acid reflux is becoming a more common diagnosis for those suffering from gastrointestinal problems. Symproms of acid relux include heartburn, problems swallowing and chest pain. Today there are many medicines that your doctor can prescribe to help treat acid reflux issues.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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