4 Questions to Ask Gastro Surgeon
Dr. Alfred B Johnson is an experienced gastro surgeon specializing in treating digestive health issues. He completed his residency in general surgery and later received additional fellowship training in Laparoscopic/MIS surgery. Read on to find more about gastro surgeons and how they can benefit you. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment. We are conveniently located at 240 East 13th Street Merced, CA 95341.
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?
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:
• 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
• Indigestion (dyspepsia)
• Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)
• Peptic ulcers
• Stomach cancer (gastric cancer)
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 or gastroenterologist for further evaluation.
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?
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 Robotic and Laparoscopic Surgery
• Robotic Hiatal Hernia Repair
• Minimally Invasive Digestive Health Surgeries
If you would like to know more about the services we provide, call 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.