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Do I need a Colorectal Surgeon or a Gastroenterologist?

A Colorectal Surgeon is a general surgeon who has undergone advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the colon, rectum and anus. Colorectal surgeons are experts in the surgical and non-surgical treatment of colon and rectal problems including benign and malignant conditions. They perform routine colon screening examinations and also surgically treat problems when indicated.

A gastroenterologist has completed training in internal medicine and advanced training in the field of gastroenterology. They specialize in diseases of the digestive system and diagnose and treat conditions that affect the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine(colon), and biliary system (e.g., liver, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts). Gastroenterologists do not operate on patients.

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a thorough evaluation of the colon and rectum. It involves using a camera on a flexible tube to visualize the lining of the entire colon. The test is performed with medication to ensure patient comfort.

What is the preparation for a colonoscopy?

A full bowel cleansing is required the day before the test. New preparation methods have made this process much more comfortable than in the past.

At what age should I have a colonoscopy?

Average-risk individuals should start colon & rectal cancer screening at age 50. People with symptoms or other risk factors should start earlier.

What is a polyp?

Polyps are growths in the colon and rectum. They are usually small and typically do not give any symptoms. A few types of polyps, if left in the colon long enough, can turn into cancer. Any polyps found during a colonoscopy can be removed during the screening procedure.

What are some symptoms of colon cancer and/or polyps?

Abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, change of bowel habits and unexplained weight loss can all be caused by polyps and cancer. All such symptoms should be evaluated fully.

Do I need to be referred by my primary care physician?

Some insurance companies require a written or telephone referral. You can tell by checking your policy or contacting your insurance company.

Do you submit the bill to my insurance?

We submit for all insurance companies that we are currently participating with. See current list.

Do I have to pay my co-pay before seeing the doctor?

Yes, co-payments are due at the time of service.

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