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Gastroenterology


Gastroenterology
715 North Weber St
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Phone: 719-473-6115

ABOUT DDC

The Digestive Disease Clinic which was founded by Abbass Shafii, M.D. in 1995, a board-certified physician with over fifteen years’ experience. In 2004 Dr. Shafii added the Digestive Disease Endoscopy Center which is a Joint Commission-certified Ambulatory Surgery Center. In 2017, Digestive Disease Clinic joined DaVita Medical Group Colorado. The office is conveniently located in the downtown area of Colorado Springs.

 

The practice is solely dedicated to patients with Gastroenterology/Hepatology problems. Gastroenterology is the medical specialty of the function and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, intestines, and associated organs. Hepatology is the branch of medicine concerned with structure, functions, diseases, and abnormalities of the liver.

 

Our philosophy is to treat each patient as if they were members of our family and to provide high quality and cost-effective medical care, in a patient-friendly environment. By working closely with the patient’s primary care physician, we strive to provide excellent gastroenterology care and to provide a familiar, safe and comfortable environment.

 

GASTROENTEROLOGY

 

A gastroenterologist is a physician who specializes in diseases of the digestive system, also called the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Gastroenterologist have additional training in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that effect the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon) and biliary system (liver, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts). Gastroenterology is a subspecialty of internal medicine.

 

Some of the conditions and symptoms that are treated by a gastroenterologist are the following:

Abdominal pain and discomfort

Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)

Difficulty swallowing

Barrett’s Esophagus

Ulcers

Bleeding in the digestive tract

Malabsorption disorders (celiac disease, lactose intolerance)

Constipation and diarrhea

Hemorrhoids

Inflammation in the digestive tract (i.e. Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis)

Diverticular diseases: polyps, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),

Cancers (colorectal, stomach (gastric) pancreatic, liver …)

Liver disease (hepatitis, cirrhosis, ascites)

Gallbladder diseases

Pancreatitis disease

Unexplained weight loss

Procedures that Dr. Shafii Performs

Colonoscopy

Polypectomy

Flex Sigmoidoscopy

Upper GI Endoscopy (EGD)

Dilation

Capsule Endoscopy

ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography)

EUS (Endoscopic Ultrasonography)

PEG (Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy)

 

COLONOSCOPY

What is Colonoscopy: Overview
According to the American Cancer Society colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer related death in the United State. Colorectal cancer may be prevented by removing pre-cancerous colon polyps; and when detected in the earliest stage, it is up to 90% curable. The goal of a screening colonoscopy is to find and remove any abnormal growths or polyps. In addition to screening, a colonoscopy may be indicated for other reason, such as unexplained abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, weight loss or iron deficient anemia; and follow up on inflammatory bowel disease.

 

What preparation is required?
Your physician will give you detailed instruction about diet and the necessary bowel prep. The preparation consists of consuming a large volume of a special cleansing solution, which will be prescribed by your physician. The colon must be completely clean to help the procedure to be accurate and complete.  You will be on clear liquids the entire day before your procedure. Acceptable liquids include fat-free bouillon or broth, strained clear fruit juice, water, sports drink such as Gatorade™, Crystal Light™or white or green tea. It is very important to follow the instructions given to you by your physician. Certain medications need to be stopped 4-5 days prior to your procedure such as aspirin products, arthritis medications, iron supplements, anticoagulants such as Coumadin™, warfarin, Plavix™ and antiplatelet such as Aggrenox™, Ticlid or as instructed by your physician.

 

What to expect during the procedure?
You will be asked to lie down on your left side on the examination table. Once the sedation takes effect, the doctor inserts a thin long flexible lighted tube into the rectum and advances it through the entire colon. As the colonoscope make its way through the colon, the physician can see the lining of the colon on a TV screen. If polyps are found, your doctor may perform polypectomy (removal of the polyp) or biopsy, which is then sent for a further pathology examination and it will normally takes 3-5 days to get the result.

 

What can I expect after the procedure?
Once you recover from the effect of the sedation, you can be discharged; however, a responsible adult must be there to take you home. Our policy recommends patients should not drive for 24 hours after receiving sedation. Some cramping, bloating or abdominal pain can occur during the first few hours after the procedure. Full recovery is expected by the next day. Discharge instructions should be carefully read and followed.  Please call our office if you experience severe abdominal pain, fever, chills or heavy rectal bleeding.

EGD

What is upper endoscopy (EGD)?
Upper endoscopy allows your doctor to exam the lining of the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, and the first portion of the small intestine called duodenum. Upper endoscopy is performed to evaluate symptoms such as upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and celiac disease. Your doctor may also obtain biopsy to roll out any abnormalities for ulcer or malignancy.

 

What preparation is required?
You should not eat or drink anything for six hours prior to your upper endoscopy. An empty stomach allows for the best and safest examination. You should avoid aspirin products, arthritis medications, iron supplements, anti-coagulants and anti-platelet medications 4-5 days prior to your procedure or as directed.

 

What to expect during procedure?
Your doctor will start by spraying your throat with a local anesthetic and follows by giving you a sedative to help you relax. Then you will lie on your side, and the doctor will pass the endoscope through your mouth and into the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Most patients fall asleep during the procedure. Your doctor will biopsy any abnormal areas and these will be sent for further pathology examination.

 

What can I expect after the procedure?
You will be monitored closely until the effects of the sedation have worn off. You might experience a sore throat and bloating after the procedure. Once you recover from the effect of the sedation, you will be released. However, a responsible adult driver needs to take you home. Discharge instructions should be carefully read and followed.

FLEXIBLE SIGMOIDOSCOPY

What is Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure that enables the physician to exam the inner lining of the lower large intestine. Sigmoidoscopy is used for evaluation of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding or a change in bowel habits.

 

What preparation is required?
The lower part of your colon should be clean prior to your procedure. This is usually done by using enemas and laxatives. Your physician will give you detailed instructions about diet and medications. Be sure to follow the instruction carefully. Please avoid aspirin products, arthritis medications, iron supplements, anti-coagulants and anti-platelet medication 4-5 days prior to the procedure or as instructed by your physician.

 

What to expect during the procedure?
You will be asked to lie down on your left side with your knee drawn up on the examination table. No sedation is required for this procedure. Your doctor will insert a thin long flexible lighted tube into the rectum and advance through the lower part of the large intestine (sigmoid). Your doctor may surgically remove a polyp or obtain a biopsy specimen if the scope shows abnormal findings such as growths, or polyps.

 

What to expect after the procedure?
Some cramping, bloating or abdominal pain can occur during the first few hours after the procedure. You may resume your normal diet and activities the next day. Discharge instructions should be carefully read and followed. Please call our office if you experience severe abdominal pain, fever, chills or heavy rectal bleeding.

 

ERCP

What is ERCP?
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure done at the hospital under general anesthesia or sedation. ERCP is a combination of endoscopy and X-ray to study the ducts of liver, gallbladder and pancreas for diagnoses and treatment. The liver, gallbladder, and pancreas share common opening or drainage routes into the small intestine.

 

What preparation is required?
You should not eat or drink anything for six hours prior your procedure. You should inform your physician if you have an allergy to iodine. You should avoid aspirin products, arthritis medications, iron supplements, anti-coagulants and anti-platelets medication 4-5 days prior to your procedure or as instructed by your physician.

 

What to expect during procedure?
After receiving sedation, a flexible, lighted tube is passed through the mouth, esophagus and stomach into the small intestine. After reaching the small intestine, the doctor will find the opening to the ducts and will pass a narrow plastic tube, or catheter, through the endoscope and into the ducts. Contrast material will then be injected into the ducts to obtain images and other maneuvers may also be performed to diagnose or treat your disorder.

 

What can I expect after ERCP?
Once you recover from the effect of the sedation, you can be released; however a responsible adult must be there to take you home. Our policy recommends patients should not drive for 24 hours after receiving sedation. Some cramping, bloating or abdominal pain can occur during the first few hours after the procedure. Discharge instructions should be carefully read and followed.

CAPSULE ENDOSCOPY

What is Capsule Endoscopy?
Your physician has determined that as part of your medical evaluation you should undergo an examination known as Capsule Endoscopy. This procedure involves ingesting a small (the size of a large vitamin pill) PILLcam capsule called M2A, which allows your doctor to evaluate your small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum). Capsule Endoscopy is usually indicated for gastrointestinal bleeding, Crohn’s disease, detecting polyps, diarrhea, or tumors of the small intestine or ulcers. The M2A capsule is disposable and will be passed naturally in your bowel movement. In the rare case that it is not passed naturally, it will need to be removed endoscopically or surgically.

 

What is the preparation for the procedure?
Abstain from smoking 24 hours prior to undergoing Capsule Endoscopy.

Purchase Miralax™ 238g (over the counter) from your pharmacy

Over the counter medication will need to be purchased and more specific instructions will be given during the scheduling time.

 

The Day before your test
Clear liquid diet all day. At 8 p.m. drink (17 gram or 1 cap full) of Miralax™ dissolved in 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes four times.

Drink 2 more glass of clear liquids between 8 and 10 p.m.

Make sure move around to prevent abdominal cramping and bloating.

Nothing by mouth after 10 p.m.

 

The morning of your test
Thirty minutes prior to your test, drink one cap full of Miralax™ dissolved in 8 ounces of water. Please wear of comfortable two (2) piece outfit.

 

What to expect during Capsule Endoscopy?
This test will be done at Digestive Disease Clinic, 
715 N Weber St #100. There is additional parking in the rear of the building. The preparation for the test is approximately 30 minutes, plan on being at the clinic for that amount of time. You will swallow a small camera capsule about the size of a large vitamin pill. This will take pictures of your small intestine. Follow the patient instruction sheet given to you. You may go about your regular activities for the day. You will wear a belt that carries a small data recorder that records images sent by the capsule for a full 8 hours. The data recorder and belt must be returned to the clinic the same day as the test.

 

What happens after Capsule Endoscopy?
You can resume your normal activity after the procedure. You will get a call from our office within in few days to review your Capsule Endoscopy results. Capsule will be excreted via the stool. After ingestion of the capsule and until it is passing, you should not have a MRI examination or be near an MRI machine.

 

PEG TUBE

What is Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG)?
The peg tube is used for those patients who are unable to swallow adequate oral nutrition and are high risk for aspiration pneumonia. This procedure enables the physician to create a small opening through the skin of the abdominal wall and into the stomach. This procedure allows the patient to obtain adequate nutrition, fluids and medication directly to the stomach.

 

What preparation is required?
You should not eat or drink anything for six hours prior to your upper endoscopy. An empty stomach allows for the best and safest examination. You should avoid aspirin products, arthritis medications, iron supplements, anti-coagulants and anti-platelet medications 4-5 days prior to your procedure or as directed.

 

What can I expect during my upper endoscopy PEG Tube insertion?
Your doctor will use a lighted flexible tube to direct him to make a surgical opening through the skin of the abdomen and directly into the stomach. This opening will allow your doctor to place and secure a feeding tube into the stomach. Patient will normally receive sedation and anesthesia depending on an individual. A dressing will be placed on the Peg Site following the procedure.

 

What happens after the upper endoscopy PEG Tube insertion?
You will be monitored closely until the effects of the sedation have worn off. Once you recover from the effect of the sedation, you will be released. However, a responsible adult driver needs to take you home. Our policy recommends patients should not drive for 24 hours after receiving sedation. Discharge instructions regarding feeding, cleansing the peg site should be carefully read and followed.

 

PATIENT INFORMATION

The Digestive Disease Clinic & Endoscopy Center team looks forward to your visit to our office. We will make every effort to schedule your appointment during a time that fits your schedule.

 

We DO NOT accept walk-in appointments.

 

To schedule an appointment, please call our office at 719-473-6115 anytime during our regular office hours. Please have your schedule and insurance information available to expedite the scheduling process.

 

*Keep in mind a referral from your primary care provider may be required.

 Office Hours:

 Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

  

WHAT TO BRING

Completed Paperwork

Photo ID

Insurance Card(s)

Co-Pay

Medication List

 

PATIENT FORMS

In order to provide our patients with the best care possible and to expedite your visit with us, the below links have been provided for the paperwork you may need for your appointment. You can simply download, print and complete the necessary forms for your scheduled appointment.

 

In addition to your paperwork, we do require you bring the following items at your scheduled appointment and/or procedure:

 

Photo ID

Insurance Card(s)

Co-Pay, Deductible, Co-Insurance

*Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment

 

Patient Appointment Paperwork

New & Existing Patient Forms

 

Patient Procedure & Prep Instructions

The below links provide procedure and prep instructions for our patients having a Colonoscopy or EGD procedure.

 

Please refer to the link(s) for the procedure you have been scheduled for.

 *When reviewing prep instructions, please ensure you are reviewing the instructions for the prep you have been given and the time of your scheduled appointment (AM or PM).

 

It is extremely important you read and thoroughly follow the Important Patient Instructions and your specific Prep Instructions.

 

If you have any questions regarding your procedure paperwork or prep instructions, please contact our office at 719-473-6115.

 

COLONOSCOPY

Colonoscopy Patient Paperwork

Colonoscopy Prep Instructions

AM Procedure:

Golytle™s Prep Procedure

Miralax Prep Procedures

MoviPrep Prep Procedures

PM Procedure:

Golytle™ Prep Procedures

Miralax Prep Procedures

MoviPrep Prep Procedures

SUPREP Bowel Prep Instructions

SUPREP Prep Procedures

  

EGD

EGD Patient Paperwork

PRESCRIPTION REFILLS

Need a Refill?

Please contact your pharmacy to request a refill, even if you do not have any refills available on the prescription.  Your pharmacy will contact us if they have any questions or need any information regarding your prescription refill request.

Remember to contact your pharmacy several business days PRIOR to your prescription running out.

 

Should you need to contact our office regarding your prescription, you may call 719-473-6115, extension 140. Please allow two business days for non-urgent prescription refill requests. Prescription refills are reviewed and then approved/declined only during office hours.

 

For new mail-order pharmacies, we will give you a written prescription that you can mail to your pharmacy and for mail order refills you should call or fax your mail order pharmacy directly.

 

Remember some medications require preauthorization from your insurance company which may take one to two business days.

FAQs

GENERAL QUESTIONS

  1. When can I drive or return to work after my procedure?
    You should be able to return to your normal routine the following day.

 

  1. Where can I park?
    There is parking behind our office, if you go to Dale or Monument Streets – ½ way down the block to the alley – will take you behind the building OR you may park on the street.

 

  1. Does my insurance pay the procedure?
    We cannot guarantee payment from your insurance company. Because everyone insurance policies are different, it is the patient responsibility to check with his/her insurance company.

 

  1. Do I need to arrive early for my appointment or procedure?
  • New patients – office visits need to arrive 5-10 minutes early, if you have completed your paperwork; if you need to complete your paperwork please arrive 30 minutes early.
  • Procedure patients are asked to check-in 30 minutes before their procedure time.

 

  1. Why do I have to update my paper work yearly?
    We need to make sure all information (personal, insurance, medical data, etc…) is current, so we can best serve each patient.

 

  1. How much time should I allow for my office or procedure appointment?
    For new office appointment, patients should allow approximately 1 hour. For follow up appointments, patients should allow at least 30 minutes. For procedure appointments, patients should allow a minimum of 1 ½ hours (this will depend on the procedures before yours).

 

  1. Should I see the physician or the Advance Care Practitioner?
    You need to specify whether you would like to see the physician or ACP. However, the ACP’s schedule is more flexible for appointments and provides clinical services only (i.e. diagnosis, prescribe medication, order testing, etc.).

 

  1. Why can’t I get a live person on the phone?
    Our staff works very hard to answer all calls; however, if they are on the phone or with another patient, you will get their voice mail. Please leave a detailed message and your call will be returned. We try very hard to return all messages left on the same day.

 

  1. Do I need to have a referral to have a procedure or office appointment?
    Referrals are determined by your insurance. Most insurances are “open access” at this time, but you should always check with your insurance company to prevent billing issues. If you are trying to schedule a procedure only, we will need an “order” from your referring medical provider.

 

  1. Do I need a ride before my procedure?
    Yes, you will be sedated with you procedure, and someone with a valid driver’s license and whom you are comfortable with taking you home.

 

 

PROVIDERS