Dr Schneider is a board-certified gastroenterologist committed to providing high quality, cost-effective and personalized care.
We are committed to ensuring that your experience with us is relaxed and worry-free, from consultation through recovery.
Dr Schneider spends most of his time listening to understand your concerns and responding with the best treatment options for you.
With the help of our professional staff, we also follow up to make sure that problems are resolved and your health improves.
What Is a Gastroenterologist?
A gastroenterologist is a doctor who specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
Gastroenterologists have extensive training (often 5 to 6 years after medical school) in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), and biliary system (e.g., liver, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts).
Gastroenterology is also a subspecialty of internal medicine. Gastroenterologists have a complete understanding of how the food moves inside our body, then through to the digestive tracts.
To find out more about Gastroenterologists in South Africa, visit SAGES
What Does a Gastroenterologist Do?
Gastroenterologists specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, management, and treatment of the following symptoms and conditions:
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding in the digestive tract
- Colorectal cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer
- Constipation and diarrhoea
- Difficulty swallowing
- Diverticular disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Gallbladder disease
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Hiatal hernias
- Liver disease
- Celiac disease
- Lactose intolerance
- Stomach upset, nausea, vomiting
Most people will initially make an appointment with their primary physician when suffering from a problem of the digestive tract, such as indigestion, diarrhoea, constipation, or rectal bleeding, especially if these symptoms start to interfere with their normal daily activities.
Their physician may run some tests, and if no answers are found, the patient will typically be referred to a gastroenterologist.
Training and Qualifications Required for a GI Doctor
Gastroenterologists earn an undergraduate degree before applying to medical school, which entails four years of training, followed by two to three years of a residency in internal medicine, and an additional three years of training in a gastrointestinal medicine fellowship.
What is the workplace of a Gastroenterologist like?
Gastroenterologists usually care for patients in an office or hospital setting, including nursing homes and outpatient surgical centres.
They often serve as consultants to other physicians and may work in the research field.
Testing and Procedures
There are many kinds of tests or procedures a gastroenterologist may use. Some of the most common include:
- Endoscopy: A procedure where your doctor inserts a flexible tube, with a light and camera on the end, into the digestive tract to view the inside of the digestive system. Endoscopy is a vital procedure for many people because of how many diseases and conditions it can help prevent before more serious and costly problems come up
- Testing for GI motility disorders: These disorders include constipation, pH problems and issues ranging from the intestines to chest pain
- Photodynamic therapy: For issues in the oesophagus
- Sigmoidoscopies to evaluate blood loss or pain in the bowel
- Anorectal function testing: For faecal issues or constipation
- Polypectomy: Removal of polyps
- Double balloon enteroscopy to examine the small intestine
- Dilation: Stretching of certain areas in the intestinal tract which have become too narrow
- Tumour removal
- Placement of tubes or ducts
What to Expect at Your First Visit to a Gastroenterologist?
Your gastroenterologist will begin by asking you about:
- The symptoms you have been getting
- Relieving and worsening factors
- Any previous tests and treatments
- Risk factors
- Other medical problems
- Social history
GI Doctors Can Assess Symptoms Without Surgery
The goal of GI doctors is to help their patients with gastrointestinal distress feel better.
GI doctors are different to other surgeons and specialists in that they assess their patients’ symptoms first through consultation, then they may perform endoscopic procedures to further diagnose or treat GI problems, but the last resort is surgery.
In addition to treating the above-listed disorders, gastroenterologists can perform colon cancer screenings (also known as colonoscopies).
Tips For Choosing a Gastroenterologist
1. Consider the Doctor’s Experience
When it comes to assessing your symptoms, performing tests or surgeries for your digestive disorder, the more experience your doctor has the better your results will likely be.
Ask how many patients the gastroenterologist has treated with your specific condition or how frequently he or she performs the procedure you’re considering.
2. Know What Your Insurance Covers
Check your medical aid plan to determine the specific details of your coverage to pay the least out-of-pocket expenses.
Contact the gastroenterologist’s office to verify acceptance of your particular plan.
3. Assess the Doctor’s Communication Style
During your first consultation, ask questions and discuss your treatment options and preferences.
You want a doctor who listens to you, answers your questions in ways you can understand and respects your decisions.
4. Speed & Efficiency
You want a GI who is aggressive in solving health issues. If he/she sees a problem, he wants to fix it right away. He doesn’t wait until it gets out of control.
5. Assess Patient Satisfaction Surveys
Always check or ask your GI for testimonials and reviews given by past patients to know how your doctor has helped/performed with past patients.
Reading these reviews provides an insight into how the doctor is pursuing his medical practice.
Patient satisfaction is the most important aspect and these reviews will help you assess the office environment, wait times, and office friendliness.
This will also give an insight if the patients trust the doctor!
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.