San Jose Gastroenterology FAQs

Our Board-Certified GI Doctors Answer Your Questions

At San Jose Gastroenterology, we strive to ensure all our patients are comfortable, happy, and have a pleasant healthcare experience. A large part of that is answering any questions you may have about your condition or treatment and addressing any concerns as well. Our board-certified San Jose gastroenterologists are exceedingly knowledgeable about our diagnoses and treatment procedures and we have a comprehensive understanding of gastroenterology. If you have any questions about anything at all, we would be more than happy to answer them; or, your answers may be located below. If you need further clarification, just ask one of our skilled staff members.

For more information about our services, call our office today at (408) 347-9001.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q:What is gastroenterology?

    A:Gastroenterology is a medical specialty area primarily focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and conditions in the digestive system. This includes organs such as the stomach, esophagus, colon, small intestine, rectum, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, and biliary system. Our doctors are all board-certified in gastroenterology so you can be sure you are in capable hands when you’re with us.

  • Q:What is a colonoscopy?

    A:A colonoscopy is a medical procedure whereby one of our skilled San Jose gastroenterologists is able to observe the lining of your rectum and colon. Our doctor will examine and look for polyps and signs of any potentially cancerous growths. Early detection of cancer can save lives as it could potentially allow us to remove the growth before it proliferates and affects other parts of your body.

  • Q:What are hemorrhoids?

    A:Hemorrhoids are blood vessels near the anus and lower rectum that are swollen and stretch under pressure, similar to varicose veins. The causes of hemorrhoids are numerous but often unknown. They could develop during strenuous bowel movements, pregnancy, stressful conditions, and more. They may also be located under the skin around the patient’s anus or inside the rectum. Hemorrhoids are typically uncomfortable, itchy, painful, and can bleed. They generally do not pose any serious health risks, but you should still consult a doctor to have them treated. Our doctors offer a variety of different treatment options for hemorrhoids, including hemorrhoid banding.

  • Q:What is colorectal cancer?

    A:Colorectal cancer occurs when a malignant tumor grows on the inner wall of the rectum or large intestine. It is the third leading cause of cancer in both women and men in the United States. Several common risk factors for colorectal cancer include becoming older, being of African-American descent, having a genetic history of colorectal cancer, and developing colon polyps. Some colon polyps and early cancerous growths may not display any early warning signs, which is why it is important to get screened. Colorectal cancer can be diagnosed using colonoscopies or sigmoidoscopies. Treatment for colorectal cancer varies from patient to patient, though the most common treatment is surgery. Contact one of our San Jose gastroenterology doctors today to learn more, answer your questions, and schedule an appointment!

  • Q:What are your office hours and telephone numbers?

    A:Our two offices are open Monday - Friday from 9 am to 5:30 pm. You may reach our office by calling (408) 347-9001. Our fax number is 408-347-9004.

  • Q:How do I make an appointment?

    A:You can either log onto our online portal by clicking here or call our office at (408) 347-9001 to request an appointment.

  • Q:What if I can't speak English?

    A:Not to worry, our highly trained staff and physicians are able to speak English, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, and Taishanese), French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

  • Q:May I fill out my paperwork in advance?

    A:Yes, please fill our forms online prior to your visit to our office.

  • Q:How long do I have to wait for an appointment with the office?

    A:Our office staff will try to accommodate your request to see your preferred doctors at a convenient time and office location. With seven equally qualified gastroenterologists, we can schedule the appointment with the first available physician to shorten your wait period, if you wish.

  • Q:May I select another doctor if I am not satisfied?

    A:We have seven equally qualified, highly trained physicians. If you prefer to be treated by one physician rather than another, please feel free to inform our staff and we will try our best to accommodate your needs.

  • Q:Do I need a referral?

    A:The need for a referral depends on your insurance. You do not need a referral with PPO, but do need a physician referral and insurance authorization from an HMO.

  • Q:What if I need to cancel my appointment?

    A:Please notify us within 48 hours to cancel an appointment in our office and 72 hours to cancel a procedure. There will be a cancellation fee for those who do not give us a notification or fail to show up for their appointment.

  • Q:Where do your physicians perform procedures?

    A:Our physicians perform procedures at two local Ambulatory Surgery Centers: Advanced Surgery Center and the Montpelier Surgery Center. Our Physicians may also perform procedures at O'Connor Hospital and Regional Medical Center of San Jose.

  • Q:How may I obtain copies of my medical records?

    A:You must sign a consent form allowing our office permission to release your records for personal use or to a specific doctor.

  • Q:What can I do if I need a refill but do not have an appointment scheduled?

    A:For refills, contact your pharmacy and give our office 48 hours to go over the request. Refills will not be done on weekends or after hours.

  • Q:What type of Insurance and payments do you accept?

    A:San Jose Gastroenterology physicians are providers of Physicians Medical Group of San Jose (PMG), Santa Clara County IPA (SCIPA), Premier Care Medical Group, and Valley Health Plan. We accept most PPOs, Tricare, and Medicare. We accept major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover as well as personal checks. We also offer special cash discount prices for cash-paying patients for our professional fees and at our associated ambulatory surgery centers.

  • Q:May I see a physician and have a procedure if I don't have medical insurance?

    A:Yes. In addition to the types of insurances, San Jose Gastroenterology also accepts patients without medical insurance.

  • Q:Who do I speak with regarding billing questions?

    A:Please call our billing department at (408) 347-9001 or fill out our online contact form.

  • Q:Will I be asleep during the procedure?

    A:You will be given conscious sedation. This means that you will be sedated during the procedure but able to follow simple instructions. Many patients do not remember much of the procedure because of the medication.

  • Q:How long does a colonoscopy take?

    A:The procedure itself takes approximately 20-30 minutes. 

  • Q:How often are colonoscopies needed?

    A:An average-risk patient is recommended to undergo colonoscopy every 10 years, beginning at age 50. Depending on the family history, prior colonoscopy results, and many other factors, the interval may be shorter.

  • Q:Can heartburn be dangerous?

    A:Heartburn, also known as gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD, is very common that is usually bothersome, painful, and can contribute to a poorer quality of life. Very few who suffer from heartburn develop further complications, but only your physician can help decide the right treatment for you. These complications can include ulcers, bleeding, Barrett's esophagus (a "pre-cancerous" change in the esophagus), or cancer of the esophagus.

  • Q:I have heartburn. Do I need an endoscopy?

    A:If you have had longstanding symptoms, difficulty swallowing, or other related symptoms, your physician may recommend this procedure.

  • Q:How long does an EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) take?

    A:The procedure itself takes approximately 15-20 minutes.

  • Q:I can't drink the entire colonoscopy preparation. What should I do?

    A:If the bowel movements are clear or yellow, then you may have taken enough of the bowel prep and you may stop. If the stool is loose but dark, you could use an enema (such as Fleets). If there has been no change in the stool or if you have great difficulty, contact your physician and you will be transferred to the on-call doctor for guidance.

  • Q:Why can't I drink any red fluids the day of the prep?

    A:It may cause some reddish discoloration within the bowel, and could be confused with blood.

  • Q:Should I get screened for colon cancer?

    A:The standard medical guidelines state that a colonoscopy is recommended beginning at age 50. There are other indications for screening to begin at an earlier age, and these will be reviewed with your physician. There are special situations, such as in inflammatory bowel disease, in which patients are recommended to have colonoscopy, to help prevent cancer.

  • Q:What is a hiatal hernia and do they require surgery?

    A:Hiatal hernias increase the likelihood of having symptoms of acid reflux. If this condition does not respond to medicine or if the hernia is larger than normal, surgery may be an option for particular patients. Most conditions are well-managed with changes to your diets and medications, however.

  • Q:Is it safe to be on reflux medication long-term?

    A:Yes, these medicines are quite safe and have been used for more than 25 years.

  • Q:Which medication for acid reflux is the best?

    A:Usually, either over-the-counter or prescription antacids are sufficient for treating reflux. Your doctor can inform you of your best options based on your symptoms.

  • Q:Do I need surgery for gallstones?

    A:If you do not have symptoms from gallstones, you usually will not require surgery. If, however, you have had multiple minor gallbladder attacks or a significant incident, you can greatly benefit from surgery.

  • Q:What are common risks for developing stomach ulcers?

    A:A bacterial infection due to Helicobacter pylori accounts for nearly half of patients' ulcers. Other common risk factors include taking anti-inflammatory medication, the use of alcohol, and smoking.

    Thank you Dr. Levitt!

    “I met Dr. Levitt in October 2020 when he performed a colonoscopy on me which was a great experience with good results. Then in 2021 I started having intestinal problems. Without going into gross ...”

    - Thomas Jennings
    Excellent colonoscopy experience!

    “I just recently had my second colonoscopy. Dr. Shieh and her office were fantastic. Professional, patient, flexible. Dr. Shieh is positive and reassuring. Due to EKG issues I had to have the ...”

    - Danielle
    Heartfelt thanks to Dr. Geeta Kutty!

    “Dr Geeta Kutty is great. I recently consulted her for severe GI issues. I was in a very bad shape, i badly needed help immediately, I called up their office just a day before and she took me in right ...”

    - Jyothi D
    Just Do It!

    “I want to say how pleased I was in the way that I was approached by everyone at San Jose Gastroenterology. From the first phone call all the way through to my meeting with Dr. Kutty, I've been made to ...”

    - Jorge B
    Dr.Geeta Kutty is very friendly and she listens!

    “My virtual appointment with Dr.Geeta Kutty went very well. She listened to me and suggested what to do regarding my health issue. She took her time to resolve the issue and didn't rush like other ...”

    - Diwa Karzai

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