P: (337) 232-6697

Frequently Asked Questions

About Gastroenterology

Is colon cancer preventable?

Yes, a colonoscopy may detect polyps (small growths on the lining of the colon). Your gastroenterologist will remove these polyps during the colonoscopy. Removal of polyps will result in a major reduction in the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer in the future.

What is a gastroenterologist?

A gastroenterologist is a physician who specializes in the gastrointestinal tract (including the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine) and other digestive organs (liver, pancreas, bile ducts, and gall bladder). Gastroenterologists see patients in the hospital and clinic, and also perform endoscopic procedures (e.g., upper endoscopy and colonoscopy). All of The Gastro Clinic Gastroenterologists are board certified and highly trained. They completed four years of medical school, three years of internal medicine residency, and between two and four years of gastroenterology fellowship.

Why do I need to see a gastroenterologist?

If you are 45 years or older, have a family history of GI cancer, or if you have complained to your family doctor about digestive problem such as frequent abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or heartburn, something is affecting your digestive system.

Do gastroenterologists perform surgery?

No. Gastroenterologists perform endoscopic procedures, but do not perform surgery. When necessary, they work closely with surgeons.

Scheduling a Visit

How do I make an appointment?

Call our office at (337) 232-6697 and if you need a referring physician, he or she should simply fax a request. Upon receipt, one of our In-take Coordinators will review the request and our scheduling office will call you to schedule the appointment. Since Gastroenterology clinics' schedules fill up quickly, please plan ahead. If you have already been seen in the clinic within the past three years, you may schedule a return appointment by calling (337) 232-6697.

Do I need a referral to schedule an appointment?

Yes and no, most insurances require all new patients to have a referral from a physician prior to scheduling an appointment. Usually you are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. This time is spent clarifying information and completing any other paperwork.

What insurance plans are accepted?

We accept all insurance plans except Medicaid, Wellcare, and Workman's Comp.

Do you treat children and adults?

We take care of all adult patients and children 14 and over.

How much will a clinic visit cost?

The specific amount of these costs will vary depending on your insurance plan and the type of visit. If you have health insurance your services may be subject to deductible, co-insurance and/or co-payment requirements set by your insurance plan. If you do not have health insurance we will ask for a $250.00 deposit at the initial visit. The cost to see a medical specialist is often higher than seeing your Primary Care Physician (PCP). A member of our staff will discuss your options when scheduling. At no time do we want financial hardship to come between you and appropriate care. If you have any questions regarding this prepayment policy or setting up a payment plan, please call our office. In addition, the customer service department of your insurance company will be able to provide you information regarding your out-of-pocket expenses for your procedure.

What should I bring to my appointment?

For your first visit you should bring a completed New Patient Packet (sent to you prior to your visit, any medical records these can be faxed by your referring doctor, a list of medications (including dose), insurance card, and a form of identification (driver's license). You may want to create a list of questions you'd like to ask during your visit. Make sure you jot down the physician's response. You should also bring cash, check, or credit/debit card to cover any visit co-payments.

Where are you located?

We are located at 1211 Collidge Blvd., Suite 303, Lafayette, LA 70503, next door to Lafayette General Medical Center in the Burdin Riehl Center. We are in the building that is connected to LGMC by the skywalk. We have an Abbeville office that sees patients on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The office is located at 2621 N Drive, Ste. B, Abbeville, LA 70510 in Dr. Ronald Lahasky's office.

Our new office is located at:
LGM/St. Martin Hospital
1555 Gary Drive, Ste. B, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
ph: (337)909-2215
f: (337)-909-2216
Open Thursday 12-5pm

Where can I eat?

There are several dining options adjacent to our facility here in Lafayette, Abbeville, and Breaux Bridge.

What should I expect?

At the front desk you will meet with a staff member who will confirm your identification and insurance information, check you in for your appointment and ask you to have a seat. A Medical Assistant will call your name and bring you (generally alone, without your family members) to the "triage" area where she will weigh you, review your medications and allergies, check your heart rate and blood pressure, and ask you a few questions. Afterwards, any family members can accompany you as you proceed to the clinic exam room. The Physician or Nurse Practitioner will meet you and ask you detailed questions about your current problems, past medical history, family history, and other pertinent information. You will then have a complete exam. Afterwards, the provider will discuss the plan of care, give you written instructions and possibly order tests, (such as blood tests, x-rays, GI procedures, or motility tests), and either refer you back to your referring physician or set up a follow-up care. You will then be brought to the check out area where staff members will answer any questions, collect any required payments, and schedule any tests and appointments.

Treatment & Results

Does a colonoscopy screening exam require an overnight stay in a hospital?

No, this screening is almost always done on an outpatient basis.

How will my primary care physician work with my gastroenterologist?

Your GI doctor will communicate with your primary care physician about the results of your visit and/or procedure. They will discuss what is appropriate for treatment, follow-up visits and/or future exams if needed.

May I take my current medications before the colonoscopy or any other procedure?

Some medications can be taken as usual, like blood pressure medication. Some medications can interfere with the exam. Inform your doctor about your medications and any allergies you may have to medications. The prep will also vary on the type of procedure scheduled. Review the prep instructions for your procedure.

What if the GI procedure shows something abnormal?

If your doctor thinks an area needs further evaluation, the physician might biopsy the site to be analyzed. Your GI doctor might control bleeding by injecting medications or by cauterization (sealing off bleeding vessels with heat treatment) or by small clips. Your doctor also might find polyps and the physician can remove them during the exam.

What are polyps and why or how are they removed?

Polyps are abnormal growths in the lining of the colon that are usually benign (noncancerous). They can occur in several locations in the gastrointestinal tract, but are most common in the colon. They vary in size from less than a quarter of an inch to several inches in diameter. They look like small bumps and some are flat. Your GI doctor will have them analyzed. Removing polyps is an important means of preventing colorectal cancer. Usually your GI doctor removes the polyp with a wire loop through the colonoscope using an electrical current. You will have been sedated and will feel no pain.

What are possible complications of colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is generally safe. One possible complication is perforation, or tear, through the bowel wall that could require surgery. Bleeding might occur, but it's usually minor and can be controlled through the colonoscope. Some patients may have complications or a reaction to the sedatives. Contact your doctor if you have severe abdominal pain, fever, chills, or rectal bleeding.

What happens after a GI procedure?

You will be monitored until most of the sedatives have worn off. You might have some cramping or bloating because of the air introduced into the colon during the examination. Your doctor will explain the results of the exam to you, although you may still be groggy from the sedative, you will need someone there with you and to drive you home. You should be able to eat normally, but you doctor may restrict your diet and activities for awhile. Your doctor will advise you on this. Even if you feel alert, your judgement and reflexes could be impaired for the remainder of the day.

When will I get my results?

It usually takes 5 to 10 business days depending on the type of testing performed. If several tests are ordered, we like to review all results together to formulate a complete plan of care. If testing is ordered prior to an office visit, results are given in person at the time of your visit.

Will the doctor call me?

This depends on what was done and if future testing and/or procedures are needed. Sometimes it may be the physician, Nurse Practitioner, or LPN.

What if I need a referral to another provider?

When indicated, our office will create or initiate the referral and obtain appointment date/time.

Where can I get a copy of my medical records?

When you check out after seeing your provider, you will receive a summary of your visit. Also, your referring physician will receive a complete report about your visit, potential diagnosis, recommendations, and any plans for further testing.