What to Expect at Your First Gastroenterology Appointment


Posted By Author on October 5, 2021

Charleston GI is proud to provide a higher standard of caring – every patient, every procedure. In addition to diagnosing and treating a wide range of digestive tract conditions, our specialists are committed to your comfort.

We have designed our offices to put patients at ease, ensuring you feel relaxed the moment you walk through our doors. Knowing what to expect before your first gastroenterology appointment helps, too, so we have provided some details here!

Questions About Your Gastroenterology Symptoms

The goal of your first appointment is to learn more about you – including your medical history and your symptoms.

Depending on the digestive system issues you are having, you may be asked the following:

  • What symptoms have you been experiencing? (pain, bloating, heartburn, constipation, etc.)
  • Have you identified any specific triggers? (certain foods, drinking alcohol, etc.)
  • Where do you feel the symptoms?
  • How intense is the pain?
  • How often and for how long do you feel the symptoms?
  • Does the pain move or change location?
  • Do you have a family history of digestive diseases or digestive system-related health problems?
  • Do you have a history of gastrointestinal illnesses or surgery?
  • What medications are you currently taking? What is the dosage and which condition was it prescribed for?

This is also the perfect time for you to ask your Charleston GI doctor any questions you may have about your symptoms and their treatment.

Physical Exam

A comprehensive physical exam may be performed to better understand your concerns – and determine how to provide relief. You may be asked to lie down on the exam table while your Charleston GI doctor presses down on and around your stomach.

We may listen for abnormal bowel sounds and check for masses and/or tenderness. You may also be asked to inhale deeply or cough as your gastroenterologist tries to locate any painful areas. Depending on your symptoms, a rectal exam may also be performed to check for bulges, signs of inflammation, masses and muscle weakening.

Gastroenterology Procedures

After your initial appointment, your GI specialist may require an additional procedure to arrive at a diagnosis. This may be performed the same day, or scheduled for another visit. We understand that our patients need relief fast, so we will do our best to perform the necessary procedures as quickly as possible at one of our offices or endoscopy centers.

Common types of procedures include:

An upper endoscopy (EGD) is a procedure that is performed using a thin, flexible tube (called an endoscope) with a camera on the end. The tube, inserted through the mouth, is used to look at the esophagus, stomach and small intestine.

A colonoscopy is a screening test used to prevent colorectal cancer. While once recommended at age 50, the American Cancer Society now advises colonoscopies for adults over age 45. After taking the bowel prep solution, a scope is used to view the colon and rectum and remove polyps, if necessary.

Have Questions about Your Digestive Health? Contact Charleston GI Today!

Our board certified gastroenterology specialists provide high-quality health care right here in Charleston, SC. With four Lowcountry locations to choose from, you won’t have to travel far from home to find much-needed relief!

Visit us at one of our conveniently located offices:

Contact Charleston GI today to schedule an appointment – no referral needed!