If you’ve never visited a gastroenterologist before, you may be wondering what you should expect to happen at your first appointment. A visit with a GI specialist isn’t all that different from a consultation with your primary care physician, but it does tend to be a little more informative and focused, given the specialty nature of the provider. Below, we take a closer look at what you can expect at your first consultation with a gastrointestinal specialist.
My First GI Appointment
At your first gastrointestinal appointment, your GI specialist will really work to get to know you, learn about your health issues, work to provide an accurate diagnosis and set you up with a treatment plan. We’ll take a closer look at each of those categories as it pertains to your initial consultation.
- Get To Know You – Before you even meet with the specialist, they’ll review your medical history and any medical questionnaires that you filled out prior to your visit. They may also review images that have been sent over from another medical clinic. This is just the first step in getting to understand who you are and what you’re dealing with, but we like to come in with a baseline idea of your health before we meet face to face for the first time.
- Learn About Your Health Issues – Once you meet with the gastrointestinal specialist, they’ll begin by asking you questions about your health, your symptoms, and anything else pertinent to the situation. They may ask when symptoms first started, what types of actions cause symptoms or alleviate or worsen, and they might ask about other lifestyle factors like your job, your diet or your hobbies if they believe it could have a role in your gastrointestinal issues.
- Provide An Accurate Diagnosis – Next, we’ll want to work to uncover the root cause of your gastrointestinal issues. That isn’t always an easy task, because gastrointestinal specialists focus on a pretty comprehensive system that involves your esophagus, stomach, small intestine, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, kidneys, bile ducts, colon, rectum and more. They may use any combination of tests and tools to try and understand what’s going on inside your GI tract, from x-rays and imaging tests to blood, bile or stool sample collection. We’re confident that we have the tools and technology to figure out exactly what’s causing your discomfort.
- Set You Up With A Treatment Plan – The final part of the initial consultation will be the treatment plan. It’s possible that a treatment course is developed right at this consultation, or it may come a few days later after tests have been run and the results have been reviewed. Either way, we’ll talk with you about the next steps in the process so that you have a clear understanding of what’s expected of you before you leave the office.
A visit with a GI specialist can be just what you need to get to the bottom of your digestive issues and put gastrointestinal discomfort behind you once and for all. To set up your initial consultation with a GI specialist in the greater Twin Cities area, reach out to Dr. Bhatti and the team at Bhatti GI Consultants today at (952) 368-3800.