Gastroenterologists care for your digestive tract, including conditions relating to the esophagus, stomach, intestine, gallbladder, pancreas, colon and rectum.
Hepatology, a related specialty handled by our gastroenterologists, involves diagnosing and treating liver disease.
Some of the gastrointestinal conditions and symptoms treated by physicians who are a part of Mount Nittany Health include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Esophageal reflux (acid reflux)
- Hiatal hernia (a condition that occurs when the upper part of the stomach bulges into the chest cavity, sometimes causing acid reflux)
- Hepatitis C (Hepatitis B is treated by infectious disease physicians)
- Cirrhosis of the liver (extensive scarring caused by a disease such as hepatitis or alcohol consumption)
- Diverticular diseases (conditions affecting the colon and large intestine, sometimes causing pain, fever, nausea and infection)
- Crohn's disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Polyps, often on the colon
- Delayed gastric emptying
- Rectal bleeding
- Celiac disease
Everyone over the age of 50 should have a colonoscopy performed, though those with a family history of colorectal cancer should have the procedure performed sooner.
At least one week before your endoscopy or colonoscopy, you will receive a packet from Mount Nittany Medical Center with instructions as well as a prescription for your colonoscopy prep, which must be submitted to your pharmacy at least one week before the procedure. If you do not receive this packet at least a week in advance, call 814.234.8800.
For 12 hours prior to a colonoscopy and eight hours prior to an endoscopy, you should not consume any food or drinks; consult with your physician about taking your normal daily medication(s). If you are diabetic, make sure to discuss the procedure with your diabetic care provider in advance to adjust your diet and medications since these procedures require fasting.
Patients are asked to report to entrance A at Mount Nittany Medical Center 30 minutes prior to a scheduled appointment. Before your procedure, you will be given a conscious sedation medication through an IV. This means that you're not completely unconscious for the procedure, though patients often do not remember the experience.
A colonoscopy involves inserting a flexible scope through the rectum in order to examine the digestive system for any abnormalities, like polyps, and take biopsies if needed. An endoscopy, also called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD, involves inserting a flexible scope through the esophagus to perform similar procedures.
After a colonoscopy or endoscopy, you will be escorted to a recovery area. Plan for the procedure to be completed in about two hours, and make sure to arrange for a ride home.
CT scans, which provide detailed X-ray images of soft tissue, can help with diagnosing gastroenterological problems. Patients who need this procedure done will pick up an oral contrast at least a day before the procedure. Instructions on how to drink it will be given by the Radiology Department at Mount Nittany Medical Center.
The morning of the scan, you can only have a clear liquid diet. Report to Entrance B of the Medical Center at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. Do not eat lunch until after the procedure is complete.
Your physician may suggest abdominal ultrasounds to diagnose a gastroenterological problem.
For this procedure, patients must eat a fat free meal no later than 6 p.m. the night before the ultrasound and cannot have any food or drink 12 hours before the test.
Additionally, no mints or chewing gum can be consumed the morning of the appointment, though you can brush your teeth and take morning medications with small sips of water.
Elevated liver function tests can be used to determine if liver enzymes in the blood are elevated, signaling a problem.
We perform a number of procedures for our patients at Mount Nittany Medical Center in order to diagnose disorders associated with motility (how food moves through the digestive tract) and malabsorption (poor use of food by the digestive system).
These procedures can play a very important role in diagnosing gastroenterolgy conditions, so make sure to follow your physician's instructions closely to ensure the best possible testing conditions.
Find a gastroenterologist below or contact our Park Avenue location.
Health Break Article
This is National Colorectal Screening and Awareness Month—a month that the healthcare community has devoted to educating people about the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer. Are you one of the many Americans who have been screened for colorectal cancer? I hope so. Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer? The good news is that early detection and treatment can cure the disease. Who needs to be screened? If you are age 50 or older, you need to begin to be screened and continue at regular intervals. If you or a close relative have had polyps or cancer, you need to begin to be screened earlier than age 50. If you have inflammatory bowel disease, you also need to be screened ea...