Questions about your digestive health? Wondering how to navigate your first appointment at Digestive Health Reno? Find the answers
to these and all your questions right here from Reno’s leading experts in digestive healthcare.
INSURANCE AND PAYMENT OPTIONS
What insurance does Digestive Health Center accept?
We accept almost all insurance plans. Please contact your insurance provider to confirm that Digestive Health Center is an in-network provider to confirm if services and procedures at Digestive Health Center are covered by your plan.
What insurance does Digestive Health Associates accept?
To determine if you insurance covers services offered by Digestive Health Associates, please call your insurance provider and ask if Digestive Health Associates is an “in-network” provider.
What if I don’t have insurance, can I still have a procedure at Digestive Health Center?
Yes, cash pricing is available. Please contact the Digestive Health Center benefits department at 775-770-2707 to learn more.
What if I don’t have insurance, can I still see a doctor at Digestive Health Associates?
Yes, Digestive Health Associates does offer cash pay amounts for uninsured patients. Patients can call the Billing Department and anyone can answer your questions about payments without insurance. Please call 775-829-7600 and select option 9 for the billing department.
Does Digestive Health Center accept credit cards, cash, or checks?
Digestive Health Center accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, cash and checks.
Does Digestive Health Associates accept credit cards, cash, or checks?
AMEX, Visa, Mastercard, checks, cash, and money orders.
What payments will be due when I arrive for my procedure at Digestive Health Center?
Any copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for the facility and physician are due two business days prior to the procedure.
What payments will be due when I arrive for my appointment at Digestive Health Associates?
Co-pays are due at the time of service and that information is normally displayed on the front of your insurance card or you can contact your insurance provider.
You will be contacted by the Digestive Health Associates benefits department 1 to 5 days prior to your appointment. At that time, an estimate will be given for your services at Digestive Health Center and Digestive Health Associates. These estimate amounts need to be paid prior to your procedure appointment or arrangements made to pay when you arrive for your appointment. These are only an estimate and after your insurance processes the claims there may be additional money due depending on your deductible and coinsurance allowable. If pathology is necessary, those costs will be billed after the procedure.
I received a bill for my procedure (Digestive Health Center), where do I pay my bill?
I received a bill for my office visit (Digestive Health Associates), where do I pay my bill?
Credit card payments and ACH payments by check can be processed on the Digestive Health Reno website at https://patientportal.advancedmd.com/account/logon?lk=138950. Choose the correct facility to pay. Instructions will guide you through the process, otherwise payments may be mailed in or brought to our office at Digestive Health Associates PO Box 516571 Los Angeles, CA 90051-0597.
Does Digestive Health Center offer payment plans?
Digestive Health Center does offer payment plans. After your benefits have been verified, the Digestive Health benefits center will contact you to let you know your portion of the cost. If you need assistance in managing this financial responsibility, the benefits center can walk you through the available options. CareCredit is also available for those who qualify. If you have questions about Digestive Health benefits department number is 775-770-2707.
What if I change insurance carriers before my procedure?
If any changes to your insurance benefits occur between the time you book your appointment and the procedure, please notify the center immediately. The center must be notified of changes within two full business days prior to the procedure or the procedure will need to be rescheduled. Insurance changes require new verification of benefits and authorization. These changes may also affect your patient responsibility. If you have changes to your insurance, please contact the Digestive Health Center benefits department at 775-770-2707
LOCATIONS & DIRECTIONS
How do I find a gastroenterologist near me?
Digestive Health Associates is conveniently located at 655 Sierra Rose Drive in Reno and is the premier gastroenterology practice in Nevada where ten of the state’s leading gastroenterologists diagnose, treat, and prevent a wide range of diseases and conditions that affect the gastrointestinal system.
Where do I go for my procedure?
Digestive Health Reno offers a variety of procedures to diagnose, treat, and manage gastrointestinal health issues. The type of procedure you are having will determine where your procedure will be scheduled. If you are unsure about the location of your procedure, please contact your physician’s office at 775-829-7600.
To see all the locations or find directions, please visit the Digestive Health Reno locations page.
PREPARATION FOR YOUR VISIT
What do I need for my procedure?
- Your insurance card(s)
- Driver’s license or government-issued photo ID
- A list of your current medications
- Deductible or co-pay for your procedure, as determined by your insurance company
- Leave valuables at home, such as jewelry, electronics, and smartphones
- Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing
- Arrive at the center one hour prior to your scheduled procedure time
- From arrival to departure, including wait times and discharge, please allow two to three hours in your schedule for most procedures
***Bring the name and phone number of the person (must be 16 years or older with a valid driver’s license) who will be escorting you home. You will not be permitted to drive, take a taxi alone, or leave the center without an adult chaperone.
******You must be 16 years old or over to have a procedure. If you are an adult who is unable to sign the consent, you must have someone with you who is authorized to sign on your behalf.
What forms do I need to fill out before my procedure?
What forms do I need to fill out before my office appointment?
Welcome To Our Practice
Important Notice of Financial Policy
Notice of Privacy Practices
Patient Medical History Form
DHA Notice of Nondiscrimination
How do I prep for my procedure?
The prep for your procedure is very important. It is vital that you follow your physician’s instructions exactly to be prepared. If you have received instructions from your physician about which prep to complete, please click below to download and view prep instructions for Digestive Health Reno. If you are not sure which prep instructions to follow, please contact your physician’s office at 775-829-7600.
Can I take a taxi, Uber, or other car service to and from my procedure?
You MUST have a person 18 years old or over who can sign discharge forms after the procedure is complete. Driver and patient escort MUST be CONFIRMED at check-in or your procedure will be rescheduled. Use of a taxi service or other ride share/public transport is NOT allowed without an escort aged 18 years or older to accompany the patient.
You will not be permitted to drive, take a taxi alone, or leave the center without an adult chaperone.
What should I wear for my procedure?
You should wear comfortable, loose clothing. It is advised that you wear cotton socks, which may be left on during the procedure.
How long will my procedure take?
You should plan to arrive at the center an hour prior to your procedure. Most procedures take between 15 and 45 minutes. You should expect a stay two to three hours total.
What do I do if I need to reschedule or cancel my appointment/procedure?
You must cancel your procedure at least two full business days prior to the event. If you fail to cancel within in this timeframe, you will be billed a $100 no-show fee. For more information on cancellations and reschedules, please call 775-770-2723.
Who do I call if I have questions about my office appointment or procedure?
Contact the physician’s office 775-829-7600 for questions about your office appointment, prep instructions or to reschedule/cancel an appointment. For questions about your procedure date and time, contact the endoscopy center at 775-829-8855.
SERVICES & PROCEDURES?
What services are offered at Digestive Health Reno?
What is a colonoscopy?
What is an upper endoscopy?
During an upper endoscopy (also called an EGD, gastroscopy, or esophagogastroduodenoscopy), your gastroenterologist will use a small, bendable lighted tube, inserted through the mouth, to closely examine the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and the top portion of your intestines, known as the duodenum.
What is a flexible sigmoidoscopy?
What is an Esophageal Manometry?
Your esophagus is made up of muscles that help move food and/or liquid from your mouth to your stomach. As you swallow, valves open to allow food through and then close to make sure everything stays down. An esophageal manometry measures how well those valves function and if they are opening and closing when they should.
What is Hemorrhoid Banding?
Rubber band ligation, or hemorrhoid banding, is a procedure in which a gastroenterologist wraps a tight rubber band around a hemorrhoid. This cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid, causing it to wither and fall off approximately one week later.
What are Bravo pH Capsule?
Bravo pH capsule attached to delivery system The catheter-free test measures pH levels in your esophagus. These measurements allow your doctor to evaluate your heartburn and acid reflux symptoms and plan the best treatment for your diagnosis.
Your doctor will temporarily attach the capsule to the wall of your esophagus. The capsule is very small – about the size of a gel cap – and usually takes a few minutes to place.
Once the capsule is in position, suction is applied, and a small amount of esophageal tissue is drawn into the capsule, locking it in place.
The capsule takes Bravo Receiver continuous pH measurements for up to 48 hours and transmits that information wirelessly to a small receiver you wear on your waistband. After the study, information from the receiver is uploaded to a computer for analysis
What is a Capsule Endoscopy?
A capsule endoscopy lets your gastroenterologist to see your entire GI tract, as opposed to just the top or bottom part in an upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. You will swallow a tiny video camera (about the size of a pill), and it will take pictures as it travels through your digestive system. Afterwards, the camera will pass painlessly in your stool.
What is a Double Balloon Endoscopy?
A double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) is a technique that allows your gastroenterologist to see areas of your digestive tract that are outside the reach of traditional endoscopes. Using a push-and-pull method in which two balloons are inflated and deflated, the intestines seem “shortened” because they can fold as the scope advances through the small intestine.
What is an Endoscopic Ultrasound?
During an Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS), a small flexible tube is inserted in your mouth or anus while you are sedated to look for bile duct stones, enlarged lymph nodes, or tumors around the rectum, pancreas, and esophagus. The high-frequency sound waves show a complete picture of your gastrointestinal tract and nearby organs.
What is a Fecal Transplant?
During a fecal transplant (also called bacteriotherapy), stool is removed from a healthy subject, sanitized, and transferred to a patient suffering from persistent C. difficile colitis. If repeated antibiotic use has eliminated the “good” bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract, bacteriotherapy can restore balance.
What hospitals are the gastroenterologists of Digestive Health Associates affiliated with?
Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center
235 West 6th Street
Reno, NV 89503
Renown Medical Center
115 Mill Street
Reno, NV 89502
Northern Nevada Medical Center
2375 East Prater Way
Sparks, NV 89521
Renown South Meadows Medical Center
10101 Double R Boulevard
Reno, NV 89521
What is an Esophageal Manometry?
An esophageal manometry is when a gastroenterologist inserts a small tube through your nose to examine your esophageal sphincter (the ring of muscles that keeps food in your stomach).
Who Needs an Esophageal Manometry?
Individuals who have trouble swallowing or consistently experience heartburn or nausea after eating may need an esophageal manometry to determine the root cause of these symptoms. An Esophageal manometry allows your gastroenterologist to determine if the esophagus is contracting and relaxing properly.
What is Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)?
Who Needs an ERCP?
ERCP is a treatment procedure for patients with jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of eyes) stomach/abdominal pain caused by pancreatic or bile duct issues.
What is Hemorrhoid Banding?
Hemorrhoid banding, or endoscopic band ligation, is a procedure where a rubber band is placed around a hemorrhoid, causing it to wither and fall off.
Who Needs Hemorrhoid Banding?
What are pH Probe Studies?
A pH probe study is an outpatient procedure that measures how much acid flows out of the stomach and into the esophagus over a 24-hour period. A small probe is inserted through your nostril and placed in your lower esophagus. You will wear a small monitor on your belt or over your shoulder to measure the pH levels in your esophagus.
Who Needs a pH Probe Study?
Esophageal pH probe studies are used to identify GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Your gastroenterologist also may recommend this test to discover the cause behind heartburn or unusual indicators of heartburn, such as chest pain, persistent cough, asthma, or other throat symptoms. This procedure is also commonly used to find out how well your heartburn or reflux treatment is working.
What is a Capsule Endoscopy?
In a capsule endoscopy, you swallow a tiny camera (the size of a pill) which takes pictures as it passes through your digestive system. You will also need to wear a small device on your body that will record the images.
Who Needs a Capsule Endoscopy?
A capsule endoscopy allows your gastroenterologist to examine your small intestine, which cannot be seen during a typical colonoscopy or upper endoscopy. Usually, capsule endoscopies are done to identify possible causes of bleeding in the small intestine, but it is also used to detect ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis), polyps, or tumors in the small intestine.
Because this procedure uses new technology, not all insurance companies cover it. Please check with your insurance carrier before scheduling a capsule endoscopy.
What is the Prep for a Capsule Endoscopy?
Generally, you will have nothing to eat or drink for about 12 hours before your procedure. Ask your gastroenterologist when to begin your fast for more specific instructions. He or she may also recommend doing a typical colonoscopy prep before your examination, depending on your circumstances.
Make sure your gastroenterologist knows about any prescribed or over-the-counter medications you take– especially iron, aspirin, and bismuth subsalicylate products. It may be necessary for you to modify your usage of certain medications before your procedure.
Your gastroenterologist also needs to be aware of your medical history, such as allergies to medications, previous abdominal surgeries, history of bowel obstructions, inflammatory bowel disease, heart or lung disease, adhesions, the presence of a pacemaker or defibrillator, or difficulty swallowing.
CONDITIONS & SYMPTOMS
How do I know I need a gastroenterologist?
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when acid from your stomach backs up into your esophagus. Your stomach produces hydrochloric acid to help you digest food, but when that acid gets in your esophagus, it can cause a lot of problems. Everyone has a gastroesophageal sphincter– a loop of muscle that normally protects your esophagus from being burned by stomach acid. If you are experiencing persistent acid reflux, it means that your valve may not be operating properly.
Acid reflux is a very common disorder; it’s actually the most common complaint gastroenterologists in the US hear from their patients. Everyone has symptoms of acid reflux occasionally, but if you experience it twice a week or more, you should see a gastroenterologist, because it could be GERD– gastroesophageal reflux disease.
What is Barrett’s esophagus?
Barrett’s esophagus is when the inside of your esophagus begins to resemble the lining of your intestine, and it occurs in approximately 10% of those who suffer from GERD.
People with Barrett’s esophagus don’t have specific symptoms, but they do face a greater likelihood of developing esophageal cancer. If you’ve had chronic acid reflux , you should see a gastroenterologist for evaluation.
What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition digestive disorder characterized by an abnormal motility of the large intestine. The symptoms can include belly pain, cramping, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and constipation. IBS can usually be managed through diet and lifestyle changes, although some people may require counseling and/or medication.
What is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?
IBD is often confused with IBS since the letters are similar, but they are actually very different. Inflammatory bowel disease is a broad term that refers to chronic inflammation and swelling of the digestive system, and it includes diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Your immune system protects you from germs like viruses and bad bacteria, and your digestive tract uses good bacteria to help you break down food. If you have IBD, your body confuses the good bacteria in your gut for bad bacteria, and it responds by causing inflammation that never goes away. Unfortunately, your body is used to fighting bad invaders for short periods of time, and it’s not supposed to have a long-term immune response. This can lead to ulcers and thickening of the intestinal lining. Symptoms of IBD include diarrhea, pain, fatigue, and weight loss, and may be life-threatening in some cases.
What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is an IBD that can appear anywhere in the digestive tract, but most commonly affects the lower part of the small intestine . It can attack tissues all the way through the intestinal wall, but it’s not necessarily consistent—it sometimes skips areas, switching back and forth between areas of normal and inflamed bowel. It is not known what causes Crohn’s disease, although managing your diet and stress levels could help alleviate some of your symptoms. It tends to run in families, and up to 20% of patients with Crohn’s disease have a close family member who also has it.
What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is an IBD that only appears in the large intestine. Typically, only the lower portion of the large intestine is affected, but not always. Symptoms are diarrhea, belly pain, and bleeding, although some people also experience weight loss, fever, liver disease, eye problems, or joint pain. Most people with UC experience months or even years with no symptoms. Only 5-10% of UC sufferers have constant symptoms. Changes in diet do not seem to make a difference people with ulcerative colitis.
What is colon cancer?
All cancers begin when cells mutate, then infect nearby healthy cells, causing the cancer to spread. Most colon cancers start out as harmless clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps that form inside the intestine. If those polyps are not removed in their early stages, they may grow into colon cancer over time. If those cancer cells travel through your blood stream and spread to other areas of your body—a process called metastasis—the cancer is much harder to treat.
What is hepatitis?
Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease that affects your liver, and it’s caused by viral infection. Some types are chronic (meaning they last for more than 6 months). There are 5 types of hepatitis: A, B, C, D, and E.
The hepatitis A virus (HAV) is highly contagious. You’re most likely to catch hepatitis A by having close contact with someone who has it or from contaminated food or water. If you have a high risk of contracting HAV, there is a vaccine available. There is no treatment for hepatitis A, but most people recover without any permanent liver damage.
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is blood-borne liver infection, which means it is spread through the exchange of bodily fluids. Sexual contact or sharing razors with someone who has hepatitis B, along with intravenous drug use, increase your risk of contracting HBV. The CDC estimates that 1.25 million people living in the US (350 million people around the world) have chronic hepatitis B.
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a contagious liver disease, most often spread through direct contact with bodily fluids. Hepatitis C may be contracted by sex with an infected person or intravenous drug use. About 15%-30% of people who contract hepatitis C experience it as a short-term illness, but for most people it is a chronic disease. There are about 2.7 million Americans with chronic HCV, making it one of the most common blood-borne viral infections in the US.
The hepatitis D virus (HDV) is blood-borne liver infection and can be spread through puncture wounds or contact with infected blood. Hepatitis D is an uncommon form of hepatitis that occurs in only in people who already have hepatitis B, but it is very serious.
The hepatitis E virus (HEV) is mainly found in areas with poor hygiene. It is usually contracted by drinking contaminated water, and there is no vaccine for HEV. Hepatitis E is uncommon in the United States, but the CDC reports cases in the Asia, Africa, Central America, and the Middle East.
What is a hiatal hernia?
Your diaphragm is a muscle above your stomach, and your esophagus passes through an opening (hiatus) in your diaphragm to connect to your stomach. A hiatal hernia is when part of your stomach pushes up through the opening. It can be caused by excess pressure, such as lifting heavy objects or coughing/vomiting. If only a small portion of your stomach pokes through, you may not even know you have a hiatal hernia. However, a large hiatal hernia can allow food and/or acid to back up into your esophagus, causing heartburn.
What causes heartburn?
Heartburn is caused when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. There are many things that can trigger heartburn, such as large fatty meals, alcohol, acidic foods, medications, or even exercise (if you have a weak esophageal sphincter).
What is celiac disease?
People who have celiac disease are allergic to gluten (a protein found in some grains). When they eat something that has gluten, their immune system thinks it is a dangerous invader and activates inflammation in the small intestine. Too much exposure to gluten could damage their small intestine, making it harder for their digestive system to absorb nutrients from their food.
Celiac disease affects everyone differently. Some people experience no symptoms at all, while others may be depressed, tired and irritable. Physical symptoms can also include seizures, missed periods and infertility. Some will feel it in their digestive system, with cramping, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, especially if they are young.
There is no cure for celiac disease. The only treatment is to avoid gluten, and usually the damage to the small intestine is reversed within 6 months.
What is gluten sensitivity?
Some people notice negative outcomes when they eat gluten, but they don’t test positive for celiac disease. This is referred to as non-celiac gluten sensitivity or non-celiac wheat sensitivity. In the past, it was assumed that people with gluten sensitivity did not sustain intestinal damage, but a recent study proved that assumption false. It is estimated that there are more people with gluten sensitivity than with celiac disease, although the majority of people with gluten sensitivity have yet to be diagnosed.
What are food allergies?
Your body’s immune system is supposed to detect germs that make you sick and eliminate them. An allergy is when your body mistakes a protein in your food for a germ. In response, your immune system releases chemicals such as histamine that cause inflammation.
What is chronic diarrhea?
Chronic diarrhea is when you experience runny bowel movements for a period of two weeks or more. Chronic diarrhea has a multitude of causes, including infections from parasites, viruses and bacteria. Pancreatic or intestinal disorders, intolerance to certain foods or reaction to medicine can also lead to the condition. If you are experiencing chronic diarrhea, you should see a gastroenterologist so they can investigate why it’s happening and make it stop.
What is constipation?
Constipation occurs when stool moves slowly through your intestines. It is a common affliction meaning that your bowel movement happen less often than is normal, and they are painful or hard to pass. Severe constipation can lead to impaction or bowel obstruction, which can be deadly.
What is H. pylori?
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a strain of bacteria that lives in the bodies of about 2/3 of the people on Earth. Most people don’t experience any negative symptoms of H. pylori, but some develop ulcers in their stomach and small intestine. People with H. pylori infections may be more likely to develop cancer in the stomach, including mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. If you have symptoms, do not delay seeking treatment.
If you occasionally feel a dull, burning pain in your stomach—which is strongest when you’re hungry—you might have ulcers. Ulcers usually feel better when you take an antacid, eat, or drink milk.
A gastroenterologist can diagnose and prescribe treatment. There are medicines that can help kill the bacteria and allow the ulcers to heal.
What is dysphagia?
Dysphagia means that you have difficulty swallowing. Dysphagia is usually a problem with your throat or esophagus moving food and liquids from the back of your mouth to your stomach. Though it can occur for many reasons, it is a common sign of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
HAVE YOUR OWN QUESTION?
Here are a couple of way to contact Digestive Health Reno