How to Prepare For a Visit to a Stomach Specialist

When seeing a stomach doctor, commonly known as a gastroenterologist, you’ll be discussing any GI symptoms you may be experiencing, such as bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, and more. You will receive the information you need about your condition and treatment options, and your GI specialist will find the best way to give you the care you need.

When it’s time to see a gastroenterologist, you’ll benefit most from this in-depth healthcare visit when you prepare a bit ahead of time. Here’s how to prepare for your upcoming visit:

Make a List of Your Symptoms and Treatments

Most people who see stomach specialists seek treatment with their primary care physicians first. When stomach or other digestive tract symptoms persist, worsen, or new ones arise, PCPs typically refer patients to gastroenterologists, who specialize in disorders of the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas.

If this is the case for you, prepare for your visit by carefully thinking through your stomach symptoms. Are you experiencing pain? If so, when did it start, and where is it located? Does anything help or worsen it, such as certain medications or foods? Do you have bloating and gas? How frequently does it happen?

Write down the details, frequency, and location of all your symptoms, and share them with the GI specialist during your appointment. You also should tell the doctor about what treatments you have tried, and if you have had previous tests– such as blood work or diagnostic imaging–make sure the GI specialist gets these documents to review.

Finally, bring your list of current prescribed and over the counter medications, along with any vitamins or herbal supplements you take. Include their dosage and frequency and the reasons why you take them.

Know the Practice’s Policies

Read through your GI specialist’s website. See if there is a patient portal through which you can communicate with the doctor. Is there a nurse on-call to answer your phone questions? How far ahead does the office team book appointments? What hospital is the practice affiliated with? Where are lab tests and imaging performed? The more well-informed about how the GI practice operates, the more at ease and in control you will feel going into your visit.

Also, check that the GI doctor is in-network with your health insurance, and when you go to your appointment, have your photo ID, insurance information, and copay (if applicable) readily available.

Get to the Practice Early

It’s a good policy to show up to doctor appointments at least 15 minutes early. This gives the receptionist time to check you in and have you fill out any necessary paperwork. It also prevents you from rushing to the center, forgetting to bring the recommended things mentioned above, and feeling stressed about being late.

Stomach Specialists in California

The best gastroenterologists in the state of California practice at Genensis Healthcare Partners Specialists. Select the location nearest you and give us a call to book your appointment with a stomach specialist today. We have 65 providers serving adults and children. Or, if you like, request your appointment online.