Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below Frequently Asked Questions of the Elms Digestive staff.

If you don’t see your inquiry listed below, feel free to call us at (843) 797-6800 and we’ll be happy to answer any question you may have!

Esophagus

What is GERD?
GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease or commonly referred to as acid reflux. GERD affects about 15 million people each year in the United States. GERD occurs when a backflow of stomach acid makes its way into the esophagus, causing irritation and sometimes damage to the lining of the esophagus. GERD usually causes a burning sensation that rises from the stomach into the chest, often worse after eating or when lying down. It may also present as a sour, bitter taste, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or persistent cough. Please click here for more information.
What is a Schatzki’s ring?

A Schatzki”s ring is a thin benign ring of tissue that may grow in the esophagus and cause difficulty swallowing, most commonly with breads, rice, meats, and pasta. It is treated by performing an upper endoscopy and breaking the ring with biopsy forceps and/or stretching the esophagus.

What is candida esophagitis?

Candida esophagitis is a common yeast infection that may occur spontaneously, be associated with diabetes, or a decreased immune system. It is often easily treated with antifungal drugs.

What is Barrett’s esophagus?

Barrett’s esophagus occurs when normal esophagus cells are replaced by intestinal cells. A common cause for Barrett’s esophagus is longstanding acid reflux. This is a condition that will require lifelong medication and surveillance by upper endoscopy because the intestinal cells in the esophagus have a risk of turning into cancer. Learn more!

What is esophagitis?

Esophagitis is inflammation of the esophagus (swallowing tube) which causes heartburn, painful swallowing and sometimes vomiting. It is often caused by the acid that is naturally in your stomach refluxing up into the esophagus. Click here to learn more.

Stomach

What is a hiatal hernia?

A hiatal hernia is when the upper part of the stomach slips up into the chest through the diaphragm. It may cause acid to come up into the esophagus, causing acid reflux and heartburn. Symptoms are usually treated with medications, but rarely may require surgery. Please click here for more information.

What is an ulcer?

An ulcer is a breakdown of the lining of the stomach or small intestine that forms a sore that can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and even bleeding. Ulcers are most commonly caused by medications or H. pylori infection. Please click here for more information.

What is H. pylori infection?

Helicobacter pylori is a common bacterium that infects the stomach. It is spread by consuming contaminated food or water. Most individuals have no symptoms, but it can cause inflammation of the stomach and small intestine that may lead to ulcers and even cancer. Symptoms may include abdominal discomfort, heartburn, nausea and vomiting. Helicobacter pylori is easily treated with antibiotics. Please click here for more information.

What is gastritis?

Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach that may cause abdominal pain, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting. It is most commonly caused by medications, alcohol, and H. pylori infection. Click here for more information.

Colon and small intestine

Myths and Facts about Colon Cancer

To learn about the myths and facts of colon cancer please watch this video produced by The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and visit www.screen4coloncancer.org It may just save your life!

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic condition of the digestive system. IBS causes abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and alternating bowel habits (diarrhea/constipation). The cause of IBS is unknown but there are many theories and it is an area of extensive research. In recent years have we have seen significant progress in the treatment and management of IBS. Please click here for more information.

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is inflammation of the small bowel caused by dietary gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and related grains. Individuals will often experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, and weight loss. Treatment is to avoid dietary gluten. Please click here for more information.

What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus. Individuals will often experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and weight loss. There is a wide range of medications used to treat Crohn’s disease and sometimes surgery is required. Please click here for more information.Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America http://www.ccfa.org/

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease which causes the lining of the colon to become inflamed. Individuals will often suffer from bloody diarrhea, mucous discharge, and abdominal pain. Symptoms can be mild to severe. Treatment requires daily medications, but sometimes will require hospitalization and ultimately surgery. Please click here for more information; Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America http://www.ccfa.org/

What is microscopic colitis/ lymphocytic colitis/ collagenous colitis?

The microscopic colitis is a term that includes both lymphocytic and collagenous colitis. It will often cause watery diarrhea. The colon appears normal during colonoscopy. However, biopsies of the colon lining will reveal inflammation when looked at under a microscope. Please click here for more information.

What is diverticulitis?

Diveticulitis is when the diverticulum, pouches that form in the colon wall, becomes infected. Individuals may experience abdominal pain, fevers, diarrhea, and bleeding. Please click here for more details.

What is diverticulosis?

Diverticulosis refers to pouches that form commonly in the colon walls. Diverticulosis is common in individuals over 50. Diverticulosis alone has no symptoms. Learn more.

What is a hyperplastic colon polyp?

A hyperplastic colon polyp is a type of polyp that does not have a risk of turning into cancer. Please click here for more information.

What is an adenomatous colon polyp?

An adenomatous colon polyp is a type of polyp that has a risk of turning into cancer over time. Please click here for more information.

What is a colon polyp?

Colon polyps are growths that occur in the gastrointestinal tract, but most commonly in the colon. The risk for acquiring polyps is being older than 50, having a personal history or family history of colon polyps or colon cancer. It is important to have all polyps removed early, before they have a chance to turn into cancer. Please click here for more information.

Billing

Which health insurance plans do you accept?

We accept all major insurance carriers. Please click here for a list of accepted insurance carriers.

How much will my office visit and/or procedure cost?

Visit the billing page. All insurance plans are different and therefore patient responsibilities vary. Some insurance carriers require you to pay a copay which will be due at the time of your visit. Other insurance carriers require coinsurance which requires you to pay a percentage of the total cost of your care. If a procedure is scheduled you will meet with our pre-certifier who will review the estimated cost of your responsibilities. We understand you have many financial obligations and we will make every effort to work with you to ensure you get the healthcare you need. Your health and well-being is our priority. If you have any questions please feel free to call our office and speak with our billing department.

Pancreas

What is chronic pancreatitis?

Chronic pancreatitis occurs when inflammation of the pancreas persists over time and causes permanent damage. It is often associated with abdominal pain, diarrhea, malabsorption, and can even lead to diabetes. Please click here for more information.

What is pancreatitis?

It is inflammation of the pancreas which causes severe sudden onset of abdominal pain which is often associated with nausea and vomiting. It is most commonly caused by gallstones or alcohol consumption. However, there are multiple other causes which include: medications, trauma, surgical procedures, infection, and hereditary conditions. Click here for more information.

Anus

What is an anal fissure?

Is a tear in the lining of the anus which often presents with bleeding and a ripping sensation during a bowel movement. Anal fissures are commonly trauma associated with the passage of a large stool or explosive diarrhea. Please click here for more information.

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are a swelling of veins under the skin of the anus or lower rectum. Hemorrhoids are commonly asymptomatic and most patients are unaware that they have them. However hemorrhoids can flare and cause itching, bleeding or leakage of feces. They may or may not be associated with pain. The most common cause of hemorrhoids are straining, chronic constipation/diarrhea, pregnancy, age, and sitting for prolonged periods of time. Click here for more information.

Procedures

Myths and Facts about Colon Cancer

To learn about the myths and facts of colon cancer please watch this video produced by The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and visit www.screen4coloncancer.org It may just save your life!

EUS (Endoscopic Ultrasound)

It is a test that allows examination of the layers of the lining of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, rectum and visualization to of the adjacent organs (gallbladder and pancreas) using sound waves (ultrasound) and an endoscope. Sedation is given during this procedure to ensure you are comfortable and asleep. For more information concerning EUS please click here.

ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography)

Is a procedure that allows your physician to evaluate the ducts that drain the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. This procedure is performed in the hospital and combines the use of x rays and an endoscopic. Sedation is given during this procedure to ensure you are comfortable and asleep. For more information concerning ERCP please click here.

Capsule Endoscopy

Is a small camera the size of a pill that your physician may ask you to swallow to evaluate the small intestine for causes of bleeding, pain, and inflammation. You will be required to carry a small battery pack and recorder on your belt for 6-8 hours. Once these are returned your physician will examine your small intestine by streaming video on a monitor. For more information on capsule endoscopyclick here.

EGD (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy) Upper Endoscopy

An EGD Upper Endoscopy is a simple procedure that allows your physician to look inside your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine to for ulcers, cancer, infection, causes for abdominal pain, and bleeding. Upper endoscopies performed at our endoscopy center will be done with the assistance of an anesthesiologist to ensure you are comfortable and asleep during the procedure. For an instructional tutorial on upper endoscopy click here.

What exactly is a Colonoscopy?

It is a simple procedure that allows your physician to look inside the colon for polyps, cancers, inflammation, causes for abdominal pain, and bleeding. Colonoscopies performed at our Elms Endoscopy Center will be done with the assistance of an anesthesiologist to ensure you are comfortable and asleep during the procedure. For an instructional tutorial on colonoscopy click here. Follow this link to schedule a colonoscopy: http://www.elmsdigestive.com/