Gastro Surgeon

4 Questions to Ask Gastro Surgeon

Dr. Alfred B Johnson is an experienced gastro surgeon specializing in treating digestive health issues. Read on to find more about gastro surgeons and how they can benefit you. For more information, call us or schedule an appointment. We are conveniently located at 240 East 13th Street Merced, CA 95341.

Gastro Surgeon Near Me in Merced, CA
Gastro Surgeon Near Me in Merced, CA

Table of Contents:

What can a gastro surgeon diagnose and treat?
When should I see a gastro surgeon?
What will the gastro surgeon do on the first visit?
What treatments do you provide?

What can a gastro surgeon diagnose and treat?

A gastro surgeon, or gastroenterologist, is a highly trained medical professional trained in the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, more specifically how food moves through the stomach and intestine, how nutrients are absorbed, how waste is removed from the body, and how the liver helps with the digestion process. By the time their training is complete, a gastro surgeon will have had 5-6 years of additional specialized education following their initial medical school training, making them ideally equipped to diagnose and treat all manner of conditions such as:

• Celiac disease
• cirrhosis of the liver
• colon polyps
• colon and colorectal cancer
• diverticulosis and diverticulitis
• esophageal cancer
• gallbladder and biliary tract diseases
• gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn)
• gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – diagnosed when there are more than two episodes of gastroesophageal reflux in a week
• gastrointestinal cancers such as pancreatic cancer
• hemorrhoids and other anal disorders
• hepatitis A, B, and C
• indigestion (dyspepsia)
• Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)
• irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
• lactose Intolerance
• nutritional issues/obesity
• pancreatitis
• peptic ulcers
• stomach cancer (gastric cancer)

When should I see a gastro surgeon?

If you have concerns such as

• unexplained blood in your stool
• unexplained difficulty in swallowing
• abdominal pain
• problems with digestion such as constant diarrhea or constipation 
• acid reflux or heartburn

You should first see your primary care provider who will then refer you to a gastro surgeon for further evaluation.  Also, there can be an increased risk of colon cancer for those over 50 years of age, particularly if there is a family history of the disease, so it might be a good idea to meet with a gastroenterologist for preventive care. You should let your primary care provider know if there is colon cancer in your family.

What will the gastro surgeon do on the first visit?

The first visit with any doctor can be nerve-wracking as you won’t know what to expect, but you can rest assured that your gastro surgeon will have seen it all before and you will be in the best place to start dealing with your problems.

Being prepared can help you feel more confident. Take any medical records with you, along with a notebook with a list of questions you would like to ask the doctor.  When they start discussing treatments, tests or procedures make notes, or if you have someone there with you, ask them to take notes while you speak with the doctor. This will help you to remember what was discussed, what you may need to do, what the next steps are, and it can also be used as a point of reference in the future. The doctor will ask you questions, so be sure to give them as much information – detailed but condensed – as you can. You will also be given an opportunity to ask questions, which you should ideally have prepared beforehand.  Some questions could be:

• Do you know what could be causing my symptoms?
• What comes next? Will you be ordering any tests?
• When will you get the results?
• Is there anything I should do right now?
• How long before you know if these treatments are effective?
• Are there any possible side effects from the treatments and if so, how can I prevent or minimize them?
• Is my lifestyle affecting my symptoms? Should I change anything?
• Will I always have this condition, or can it be cured?

What treatments do you provide?

Dr. Alfred B Johnson is a board-certified gastro surgeon who specializes in:

acid-reflux / GERD treatment
anti-reflux surgery
Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF®) 
advanced laparoscopic surgery
hiatal hernia repair
minimally invasive digestive health surgeries

If you would like to know more about the services we providecall us or schedule an appointment. We are conveniently located at 240 East 13th Street Merced, CA 95341. We serve patients from Merced CA, Atwater CA, Winton CA, Bear Creek CA, Planada CA, Le Grand CA, and Athlone CA.