In an effort to streamline your experience at Oceana Gastroenterology Associates as much as possible, we have collected some of the most popular questions we get asked. If you have a question that’s not listed here, please call us at (951) 934-0505 and we’ll be happy to get you the answers you need.
A: Well, it will depend on the issue you’re visiting us for, along with the symptoms you are experiencing. Most typically, a visit to our office consists of a review of your medical history and a physical examination, which may or may not include a digital rectal exam (using a gloved finger to feel just inside the anus for any abnormalities in the rectal area). Depending on the evaluation, your health care provider may schedule further testing, or recommend a follow-up appointment.
A: Our providers are specially trained to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions involving the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Consequently, they are looking for any abnormalities in the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine (colon).
A: A gastroenterologist performs endoscopic procedures designed to look inside the GI tract with the use of a flexible tube with a tiny camera that enters the body through either the mouth and throat (upper endoscopy) or the anus (colonoscopy).
Sometimes, the gastroenterologist will be able to not only view the area but treat certain issues during an endoscopy – such as the removal of polyps found during a colonoscopy.
Gastroenterologists do not perform what is traditionally understood as “surgery,” in which an incision is made into the patient’s skin to fix an internal problem in the body.
A: There is no pain involved in an endoscopic procedure. Patients are provided with intravenous sedation before the endoscope – the thin, flexible tube with a camera that is guided through the intestinal tract – enters the body.
In the event of a colonoscopy, air is delivered into the lower GI tract to enable better viewing of the colon, so patients may experience passing gas for a brief while after the procedure.
In the event of an upper endoscopy, patients may experience mild discomfort in the throat, where the endoscope enters the body and is guided down into the esophagus and upper GI tract. If this occurs, it may be felt immediately after the procedure and tends to go away within hours.
A: Common signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders include:
- Stomach pain
- Blood in the stool
However, these symptoms may be indicative of many disorders, so your gastroenterologist will depend on an accurate accounting of your medical history, a description of your symptoms, and your physical examination. Additional tests may be required to confirm some signs, such as a blood test or testing a stool sample to identify even the smallest amount of blood in the stool.
A: Gas that exits the body either through the mouth (belching or burping) or anus (passing gas or flatulence) is common and normal. You may be surprised to know that most people pass gas or belch more than 20 times a day!