Knowledge Can Reduce Stress for First-time Gastroenterology Patients

Experiencing a problem with the digestive tract can be daunting enough with the pain, vomiting, nausea, unexpected bleeding from the rectum, and a myriad of other scary symptoms that are associated with gastrointestinal problems. But, armed with a little knowledge, your first visit to a gastroenterologist in Petal MS can be smooth and stress-free. First and foremost, take solace in the fact that a gastroenterologist is superbly trained to diagnose and treat your problem. Their extensive education includes four years of medical school, three years of training in internal medicine, and training in gastroenterology. They are experts in diseases of the digestive tract.

Most people are nervous about the tests that gastroenterologists perform to diagnose a patient. Endoscopy and colonoscopy tests are usually very stressful to think about. But when you know the facts, they aren’t stressful at all. An endoscopy is a test in which a small, flexible tube with a light and camera on it is gently inserted into the mouth and eventually through the esophagus and stomach. This test is one of the most reliable ways to diagnose gastrointestinal problems. But, there is no pain or discomfort associated with the test. The patient is asleep during the test so there is no gagging, pain or other uncomfortable sensations to worry about.

During the test, your gastroenterology specialist in Petal MS can insert tiny instruments into the endoscope in order to take biopsies, remove growths such a polyps, stop bleeding by injecting medications or cauterizing the area, stretch narrowed openings, put stints in blocked tubes, and even remove gallstones from bile ducts.

A colonoscopy is done in much the same way. Just like an endoscopy, a colonoscopy is performed with a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera on it. The tube is inserted into the rectum and guided through the large intestine to check for any problems. Polyps can be detected and removed and other problems can be diagnosed. Again, the patient is asleep during the procedure so there is no discomfort. Other tests a gastroenterologist may use for diagnosis include ultrasound, x-rays and CT scan, to name only a few, but rest assured none of the tests are painful.

More than likely, no tests will be performed on the first visit. Instead, the doctor may perform a physical, talk to you about your chief complaint, then decide from there how to proceed. If you have questions or concerns, be sure to ask your gastroenterologist Hattiesburg GI Associates in Petal MS so as to put your mind at ease.

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