Frequently Asked Questions
What is gastroenterology?
It is the study of digestive diseases including any disease related to the stomach, small intestines, large intestines or colon, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas.
Do you see patients with liver diseases?
Yes, we see patients with hepatitis C, abnormal liver enzymes, or abnormal liver imaging. If you have chronic or advanced liver disease, we may refer you to an academic medical center.
What are my options for colon cancer screening?
There are many options for colon cancer screening. Some of the noninvasive methods include Cologuard, Fecal Immunochemical Testing, CT colonography. However, the gold standard still remains direct examination with colonoscopy. If any noninvasive test returns abnormal or if you have ever had a colon polyp previously, you will need a colonoscopy for evaluation.
My Cologuard test returned positive. What does that mean?
This means you likely have some form of polyp which needs removal so that it does not turn into colon cancer. The next step would be colonoscopy.
How often am I supposed to have colon cancer screening?
This depends on many factors including family history of colon cancer and personal history of polyps including the most recent colonoscopy results. Each recommendation is individualized to the patient.
How long does a colonoscopy or endoscopy take?
Typically, a colonoscopy takes about 15-25 minutes and an endoscopy takes about 5-10 minutes.
Will I remember the procedures?
You should not remember the procedures with the type of sedation given for the procedure. You will need an adult to be able to drive you home or take a taxi or rideshare service with you after the procedure.
If I am having a procedure, how will that affect my work?
You may work the day prior to your procedure. If you are having a colonoscopy, you will need to take a preparation the evening prior to the procedure. You will not be able to work the day of your procedure, but you may go back to work the day after the procedure. Thus, you will likely need to take a maximum of 1 day off from work. If you work a nightshift, you may have to take 2 nights off from work, but exact details can be coordinated by our office.
I can’t take off work for my procedure. Do you perform procedures on Saturdays?
We do perform some procedures on Saturdays although the availability is less than during the week. We always work to accommodate each patient’s individual needs.
Does someone really need to be available to drive me after the procedure?
Yes, for safety, since sedation takes some time to be eliminated from the system, you should not drive for at least 12 hours after the procedure. It would not be safe to let you drive home from your procedure. A taxi or rideshare service may only take you home if you have a reliable adult over age 18 come with you.
Do I really need to finish the entire colon preparation even if it looks clear?
Yes. The intestines secrete many liters of liquid and waste product throughout the day, so it is important you follow the instructions regarding the colon preparation and finish the entire preparation. If your colon is not appropriately cleaned during the procedure, you would need to come back for another procedure.
I take blood thinners for certain conditions. Can I still have a procedure done?
Yes, you can safely have your procedure performed while holding the blood thinner for a few days. Your physicians and nurses will work together to determine the safest approach for you regarding these medications.
Where are your procedures performed?
Procedures are most often performed at the Baltimore Ambulatory Center for Endoscopy (BACE) located at 19 Fontana Lane, Suite 104, Rosedale, MD 21237.
How long will I have to wait for my biopsy results?
Typically, you should hear back within 1-2 weeks of your procedure if any change to follow up plan is needed after biopsies are reviewed. If you have not heard within 2 weeks, please call the office.