Frequently Asked Questions

What is GI Alliance?

GI Alliance is the leading, Patient-Focused, Physician-Led Gastroenterology Practice serving patients throughout the United States. Learn more about GI Alliance here. In November of 2021, Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC joined forces with GI Alliance. This partnership ensures that we, as physicians, can continue our focused efforts of providing the highest quality of personalized care to our patients.

What does a gastroenterologist do?

Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine dedicated to the study, diagnosis, and treatment of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Your GI tract contains significant gastric organs, like your small intestine, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, colon, and liver.

Why do I need to see a gastroenterologist?

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

How will my family doctor 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.

How do I make an appointment with a gastroenterologist?

Find a gastroenterologist near you by clicking Provider or Location. Choose a gastroenterologist and click the “Request an Appointment” button. Once your request is received, a team member will call you to confirm your requested appointment day and time.

Can I schedule an appointment online?

Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC enables patients to “Request” an appointment online via the “request an appointment’ form on our provider or location pages. Once your request is received, a member of our scheduling team will contact you personally to coordinate your appointment.

What should I bring to my gastroenterologist 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.

How can I pay my bill online?

At this time, online bill payment is not available. For billing inquiries, please contact our office by phone at 601-268-5185.

How can I access my patient records?

You can access your records and communicate directly with your physician’s office online, 24/7 via the Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC Patient Portal.

What insurances do you take?

We accept most insurances. Visit our Insurance page, or call one of our offices to confirm we accept yours. You can reach us at 601-268-5185.

Why is a colon cancer screening so important?

A colon cancer screening is the process of looking for polyps and cancerous growths on the inner wall of the colon and rectum when no gastrointestinal symptoms of disease are present. Click here to learn more about colon cancer screenings.

How dangerous is colon cancer?

Colon cancer has the one of the highest death count from patients with cancer in the US. It is estimated that over 52,000 deaths from this disease will occur in the United States each year.

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 Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is an endoscopic procedure which allows the physician to examine the lining of the colon using a long flexible tube with a camera on the end of it. To learn more, click here.

What should I do to prepare for a colonoscopy?

Your gastroenterologist and their staff will provide you with specific instructions for your procedure. It is very important that you follow the instructions given to you by the gastroenterologists and not the instructions that come with your prep kit. If you lose your instructions, you can find them here or contact your gastroenterologist.

Where can I find pre-procedure/colonoscopy prep instructions?

To view the Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC prep instructions, click here.

Will a colonoscopy require me to stay overnight?

No! A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure.

What are the possible complications from a 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.

How will I get my colonoscopy results?

Your gastroenterologists will discuss the initial procedure findings after the procedure before you leave. Tests may be ordered, based on the procedure findings. If several tests are ordered, we like to review all results together to formulate a complete plan of care. Pathology results, typically, are returned in less than a week.

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 your gastroenterologist may restrict your diet and activities for a short period of time. You should not return to work, drive or operate heavy equipment the remainder of the day.

What is the difference between IBD and IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are two distinct gastrointestinal disorders, though the differences between the two can be confusing. While they have some similar symptoms, IBS and IBD are not the same condition, and they require very different treatments. It is essential to get an accurate diagnosis so that you can properly manage your condition.