Information

 

 

 

 

Office Hours

Appointments

Prescriptions and Refills

Payment Policies

       

Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

Links of Interest

 

 

OFFICE HOURS

Our office is open:
8:00-5:00 Monday-Thursday
8:00-12:00 Friday
Closed for lunch 12:00-1:00 Monday-Thursday

 

APPOINTMENTS

Patients are seen by appointment only. Please call our office to reserve a time. In the event you are unable to keep your appointment, a 24 hour notification is required. We reserve the right to bill a nominal fee for office and endoscopy appointments not cancelled.

 

PRESCRIPTION AND REFILLS

Please call your pharmacy and have them fax a refill request to our office:
Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Friday 8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Please give at least 24 hours
Our fax number is: 704-480-0010
Prescriptions cannot be refilled during the weekend or holidays as we need to have access to your medical record in order to refill your medication..

   

PAYMENT POLICIES

We make every effort to charge fair and reasonable prices for our services. We offer a number of ways to pay your account.
We accept cash, checks, Visa, Discover, MasterCard and money orders.
Co-pays, deductibles and self-pay appointments must be paid at the time services are rendered. If patient is unable to meet this requirement our office will offer to reschedule appointment when such requirements can be met.
Returned checks will be charged a $25.00 fee.
All balances after insurance pays are due in 60 days unless prior arrangements have been made.

 

INSURANCE

Insurance claim filing is performed as a courtesy service for our patients. Insurance claims are submitted when complete and accurate information is received. Submitting your insurance is not a guarantee of payment from your insurance company.
Patients are responsible for any and all services rendered by Cleveland Gastroenterology Assoc. regardless of insurance coverage.
Please review your insurance policy regarding levels of coverage, non-covered services and pre-authorization. If you have questions about your coverage, please contact your employer or insurance company.

 

We currently participate with the following insurance companies:

 

• BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD

• PRIMARY PHYSICIAN CARE

• CIGNA HEALTHCARE

• MEDCOST

• UNITED HEALTH CARE

• MEDICARE

• HUMANA

• MEDICAID (NC ONLY)*

*EXISTING PATIENTS

 

 

Patient FAQ

 

Clear Liquid Diet

Are you at risk for Colon Cancer?

What is a Colonoscopy?

What is an EGD?

Information on Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Links of Interest

 

Clear Liquid Diet

Begin the clear liquid diet the day before your procedure!

NO red, purple or green liquid should be consumed.

NO solid food or dairy products.

 

FOODS ALLOWED

• Coffee (no creamer-powder or liquid)

• Tea (decaffeinated or regular)

• Carbonated beverages (Coke, Sprite, Sundrop, 7-up, etc.)

• Orange Juice (no pulp)

• Gatorade (no red, green, or purple)

• Fruit Juices (apple, white grape, lemonade-no pulp)

• Crystal Lite

• Chicken or Beef broth

• Lemon Jello

• Popsicles-banana (no red, green or purple)

• Sugar, honey, syrup, clear ard candy, toffee, or butterscotch.

 

Are you at risk for Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with more than 140,000 new cases and 55,000 deaths expected this year.  The lifetime incidence of colon cancer is 5%, with 90% of cases occurring after the age of 50.  Men and women are equally affected.  We now have an opportunity to use current screening methods not only to detect colon cancer early, but also to prevent this potentially devastating disease.

 

Colon cancer is often diagnosed in patients who have no symptoms.  The ability to cure the disease is directly related to at what stage the disease is diagnosed.  If one waits to seek medical attention until after symptoms have developed (rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, or intestinal obstruction), the chance of cure is greatly reduced.  Therefore, screening is recommended for all people over the age of 50 regardless of symptoms.  However, if one is experiencing rectal bleeding (even small amount on infrequent occasions), abdominal pain, or symptoms of intestinal obstruction, he or she should seek the evaluation of a physician.

 

Recommendations for colon cancer screening must take into account several factors.  These include the effectiveness, safety, and convenience of the test.  In addition, consideration must be given to what is best for the individual patient.

You should seek colon cancer screening if you are in any of the following groups:

 

• Age 50 years or older.

• Personal history of colon polyps.

• Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease).

• Family history of either colon polyps or colon cancer, particularly if that family member is a first degree relative (mother, father, brother, sister, or child)    and if that family member’s colon polyp or colon cancer was diagnosed before age 50.

• Personal history of pervious colon cancer.

 

There are multiple methods of screening for colon cancer.  The physicians at Cleveland Gastroenterology Associates can recommend an appropriate screening test for you.  Screening is generally safe and can be provided in a caring, private, and cost efficient way that minimizes inconvenience to you and your family.

 

Medicare and most medical insurance providers cover some form of colon cancer screening for their beneficiaries.  To learn more about colon cancer, your risk, and the ways to prevent this deadly disease, please contact our office.

 

What is a Colonoscopy?

The term "colonoscopy" means looking inside the colon. It is a procedure performed by a gastroenterologist.

 

The colon, or large bowel, is the last portion of your digestive or GI tract.  It starts at the cecum, which attaches to the end of the small intestine, and it ends at the rectum and anus.  The colon is a hollow tube, about five feet long, and its main function is to store unabsorbed food products prior to their elimination.

 

The main instrument that is used to look inside the colon is the colonoscope, which is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and a light on the end.  By adjusting the various controls on the colonoscope, the gastroenterologist can carefully guide the instrument in any direction to look at the inside of the colon.  The high quality picture from the colonoscope is shown on a TV monitor, and gives a clear, detailed view.

 

Colonoscopy is more precise than an X-ray.  This procedure also allows other instruments to be passed through the colonoscope.  These may be used, for example, to painlessly remove a suspicious-looking growth or to take a biopsy-a small piece for further analysis.  In this way, colonoscopy may help to avoid surgery or to better define what type of surgery may need to be done.

 

A shorter version of the colonoscope is called a sigmoidoscope, an instrument used to screen the lower part of the large bowel only.  The colonoscope, however, is long enough to inspect all of the large bowel and even part of the small intestine.

 

Colonoscopy is a safe and effective way to evaluate problems such as blood loss, pain, and changes in bowel habits such as chronic diarrhea or abnormalities that may have first been detected by other tests.  Colonoscopy can also identify and treat active bleeding from the bowel.

 

Colonoscopy is also an important way to check for colon cancer and to treat colon polyps - abnormal growths on the inside lining of the intestine.  Polyps vary in size and shape and, while most are not cancerous, some may turn into cancer.  However, it is not possible to tell just by looking at a polyp if it is malignant or potentially malignant.  This is why colonoscopy is often used to remove polyps, a technique called a polypectomy.

 

What is an EGD?

It is a procedure that enables the Gastroenterologist to examine your esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, and duodenum (first portion of small bowel) using a thin flexible tube that can be looked through or seen on a TV monitor.

 

EGD is usually performed to evaluate possible problems with the esophagus, stomach or duodenum and evaluate symptoms such as upper abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, difficulty in swallowing, anemia, etc.  It is more accurate than x-ray for detecting inflammation or small lesions such as ulcers or tumors within the reach of the instrument.  Its other major advantage over x-ray is the ability to perform biopsies (obtain small pieces of tissue) or cytology (obtain some cells with a fine brush) for microscopic examination to determine its nature and whether the lesion is benign or malignant (cancerous).  Biopsies are taken for many reasons and may not mean that cancer is suspected.  It can also be used to treat many conditions within its reach.  The endoscope's channels permit passage of accessory instruments enabling the physician to treat many of the conditions such as stretching areas of narrowing (strictures), removal of benign growths such as polyps or of accidentally swallowed objects, treating upper gastrointestinal bleeding as seen in ulcers or lining tears which, in the last two, has markedly reduced the need for transfusions or surgery.

 

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder of the intestines that leads to crampy pain, gassiness, bloating, and changes in bowel habits.  Some people with IBS experience constipation; others have diarrhea; and some people experience both.  Sometimes the person with IBS has a crampy urge to move the bowels but cannot do so.

 

The cause of IBS is unknown, and as yet there is no cure.  Doctors call it a functional disorder because there is no sign of disease when the colon is examined.  IBS causes a great deal of discomfort and distress, but it does not cause permanent harm to the intestines and does not lead to intestinal bleeding of the bowel or to a serious disease such as cancer.  Often IBS is just a mild annoyance, but for some people it can be disabling.  Most people with IBS, however, are able to control their symptoms through medications prescribed by their physicians, diet, and stress management. 

 

How does a good diet help IBS?

For many people, eating a proper diet lessens IBS symptoms.  Before changing your diet, it is a good idea to keep a journal noting which foods seem to cause distress.  Discuss your findings with your doctor.  For instance, if dairy products cause your symptoms to flare up, you can try eating less of those foods.  Yogurt might be tolerated better because it contains organisms that supply lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk products.  Because dairy products are an important source of calcium and other nutrients that your body needs, be sure to get adequate nutrients in the foods that you substitute.

 

Dietary fiber may lessen IBS symptoms in many cases.  Whole grain breads and cereals, beans, fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber.  Consult your doctor before using an over-the-counter fiber supplementation.  High-fiber diets keep the colon mildly distended, which may help to prevent spasms from developing.  Some forms of fiber also keep water in the stools, thereby preventing hard stools that are difficult to pass.  Doctors usually recommend that you eat just enough fiber so that you have soft, easily passed, and painless bowel movements.  High-fiber diets may cause gas and bloating, but within a few weeks, these symptoms often go away as your body adjusts to the diet.

Large meals can cause cramping and diarrhea in people with IBS.  Symptoms may be eased if you eat smaller meals more often or just eat smaller portions.  This should help, especially if your meals are low in fat and high in carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, whole grain breads and cereals, fruits, and vegetables.

 

What are gas-forming foods?

The following foods have been found to cause excessive gaseousness in some people:

• Legumes

• Beans

• Peas

• Nuts

• Sweet Potatoes

• Cabbage

• Broccoli

• Cauliflower

• Dairy products (milk, ice cream, etc.)

• Carbonated beverages

• Slurping hot liquids.

• Beer

Links of Interest

American Gastroenterological Association

American College of Gastroenterology

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America

American Liver Foundation

American Cancer Society

WebMD

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services