Can I schedule a scope test without an initial office visit?
- It is very important that the patient be seen for an initial office visit before any tests are scheduled as each patient we see is different and has different issues and needs. If you are new to our practice or have not been seen by any of our physicians recently, an initial office visit must be scheduled. During this initial visit, our doctors will review your medical history, medications and also perform the type of physical examination that best fits your visit. After your initial visit, we will schedule any appropriate tests that might be needed for your specific case. During your initial exam, we will also address any questions you might have and explain how to prepare for any specific tests required.
Can I see any doctor at the center?
- The doctor that you see during your initial office visit will also perform your procedure.
What can I expect on my first appointment?
- When you arrive at the doctor’s office for your first visit, our receptionist will ask you to register and complete paperwork that will allow us to create a patient file. Next, you will be given a medical history questionnaire. The nurse assistant will take you into an exam room, get a list of your current medications and how you take them, and she will also write down any prior surgeries. You should inform the doctor if you take aspirin or certain medicines that may be referred to as blood thinners. Please review all of your medications with the doctor. After the doctor’s exam, he will discuss with you medical recommendations, whether it be for medications, a procedure or other tests. The check-out receptionist will schedule any test that the doctor has ordered for you before you leave. She will also collect any co-pay required by your insurance company.
Should I do anything to prepare for my initial appointment?
- If you are a new patient, or have not been seen for more than one year, please arrive early in order to complete your paperwork. Bring a written list of your current prescriptions. Some patients find it helpful to simply put all of their current medications in a bag and bring them along to the first appointment. This eliminates any guesswork about dosage or prescription type. Any information you might have pertaining to prior hospitalizations, major illnesses, test results or medical allergies would be helpful. Please remember to bring along current insurance information/card(s). If you are a member of an HMO, keep in mind that you may need a referral from your primary care provider.
PREPARATION FOR A SCOPE TEST
What is an EGD exam? How do I prepare for it? What occurs during the examination? Are there any possible complications? What should I expect after the procedure?
- This test is performed by the doctor to look at your esophagus, stomach and duodenum to see if there are any abnormalities of the upper digestive tract. You will be given instructions when the exam is scheduled; usually it is as simple as not eating or drinking after midnight the day of your exam. The doctor will use a small, lighted, flexible tube thinner than most food you swallow to examine the lining of the upper digestive tract. Your mouth and throat will be numbed. The doctor will prescribe light sedation. We make a special effort to keep you comfortable. In fact, most patients don’t even remember the procedure.
- EGD is safe and is associated with a very low risk. As with any type of surgery, complications may occur but are rare. Possible complications include: hemorrhage (bleeding); perforation (tearing) of the esophagus or stomach; pneumonia or an adverse reaction to one of the medications. You must notify us of any allergic reactions you have had to medicines, particularly novocains and medicines that dentists use for deadening teeth, tranquilizers and pain killers. After the procedure, expect a mild sore throat lasting one or two days. You can use lozenges for relief. Do not eat or drink for one hour as your throat will be numb. Do not drive for 24 hours after the procedure.
What is a colonoscopy exam? How do I prepare for it? What occurs during a Colonoscopy? Are there any possible complications? General instructions?
- A colonoscopy is an exam that enables your physician to examine the lining of the colon for abnormalities. You will be given a special prep that begins the day before your exam. Your diet will consist of clear liquids until after the exam. Do not eat solid food or milk products. Most patients prefer Jell-O, tea, clear broth and water. On the evening before the test, patients are asked to drink a standard solution (Nulytely, Colytely or Fleet Phospho-Soda solution). Patients are advised to stay home during the prep time. The colon exam is performed by inserting a long, flexible, lighted tube into the rectum. In many cases, the instrument can be inserted throughout the entire extent of the large intestine, permitting a complete examination. You will be sedated with medications during the procedure. The possible complications of colonoscopy and polypectomy (polyp removal) include perforation (rupture) of the colon, hemorrhage (bleeding) from the colon and side effects due to the sedative medicines.
What is a polyp? What happens if a polyp is discovered? If a polyp is found during the colonoscopy, will the doctor remove it?
- A polyp is a growth that is attached to the inside of the colon. Most of these growths are benign, but their removal is strongly recommended so that the polyp may be examined under a microscope, permitting an exact diagnosis. In addition, benign polyps may become malignant with the passage of time. Therefore, we believe they should be removed. At times, a polyp is discovered unexpectedly during the course of a colon exam which is being done for other reasons. We recommend that all patients give us permission ahead of time to remove polyps if they are discovered. If a polyp is discovered, a thin snare wire is passed through the colonoscope and the polyp is encircled. The snare is tightened and an electric current is passed through the wire, which cuts off the polyp. The polyp is then sent to the pathologist for further examination. Surgery is typically only required if a polyp is too big or too flat to remove.
DURING YOUR PROCEDURE
How long will my scope test take?
- For most of our patients, the "scope test" takes about two hours. The actual exam takes about 30 minutes, but you will need extra time for registration, a pre-operative check-in, the procedure itself and time to recover. You may have family members wait with you in our recovery room until the doctor arrives to discuss your exam results.
AFTER YOUR PROCEDURE
How much recovery time will I need after the scope test?
- Most patients spend about 45 minutes in our recovery room. The doctor will visit with you at the end of this time to discuss your test results. Also, a family member will be asked to be with you in the recovery area.
Can I eat as soon as the test is finished?
- Yes. Once you get home, you may have a normal meal. You may eat whatever you wish, but we do recommend that you use common sense and go slowly at first.