GI doc in the Las Vegas area?

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grayeyedblonde
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 383
   Posted 3/9/2010 3:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I was wondering if there is anybody else in the Vegas area and if they could recommend a good GI doc?
 
While I like the one I'm seeing, I don't feel he is very knowledgeble about crohn's. Every time I go into to see him his office is filled with elderly people he is sending over for scopes. When I got insurance back on Jan 1, I made an appt. and he said he wanted to get me on Humira or cimzia...Ok, fine. It was what I was expecting and why I made the appt in the first place. He told the girl at the front desk to get it Prior auth'd thru my insurance. Mid February, I call the office to see if it had been approved, she puts me on hold, then says I need to get tested for TB and Hepatitis...understandable, but why wait almost a month to tell me this? Get the tests done, wait a couple of weeks, call the office and he wants me to come in ASAP...Finally! Go in yesterday, and asks me about my fistulas (he knows they are active) and says he is referring me to the surgeon who did my resection back in July to "check them out and make sure they are not absessed". WTH??? Plus, he wrote a script for cimzia to send in for the loading dose and I had to tell him and his front desk person that my insurance only covers Humira. Shouldn't they have known this if they got it PA'd like they were supposed too?
 
As I said, I like him as a person, very nice guy, seems concerned, saw me for a free office visit when I lost my insurance but was tapering off Pred and wanted to make sure I was ok even though I came prepared to pay, but I don't feel like he's GETTING it, does that make sense?
 
I picked him out of my insurance book...don't want to try that route a second time...
Dx'd w/ Crohn's in 1979 at age 14, have had minor flares throughout the years, but mostly kept in remission. Bad flare 2008 but no health insurance so I dealt with it. Colonoscopy in July 2009 caused a perforated colon, emergency bowel resection. Was on Pred. Dr. wants to try Humira...
Currently just take a multivitamin, calcium, magnesium, and fish oil.


debilitated
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 448
   Posted 3/9/2010 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
http://www.healthgrades.com/directory_search/physician/profiles/dr-md-reports/dr-laura-gitlin-md-68d70ac4

gypsyfp
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 336
   Posted 3/9/2010 5:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Apparently, there are VERY few GI docs here in Las Vegas.
I asked mine why and she said it is because they have a high malpractice rate here, which makes sense considering we have a Glen Lerner lawyer commercial on the tv every 2 minutes!
As much as I believe leaving a doctor for a better one, I just can't see it happening here in Vegas, given the few amount of GIs.
After being without insurance for a few months, I got a new job and my insurance was activated by mid november. It's an HMO so I had to see a GP first, who then referred me to the gastroenterology department. The referral took a week to be processed. I called the gastro office and they said there was a cancellation tomorrow on December 8th. If I didn't take it, the next available appointment would be in February!!! Needless to say, I took the appointment.
My GI is a bit abrasive, but she's great. She took one look at my personal history, and ordered a colonscopy, which I hadn't had in years, a small bowel follow through, which I never had to begin with, and a fistulogram, so that I was finally diagnosed with a fistula after 3 months of draining!
The shocking thing about it is that she's not even a doctor. She is an APN. But I wouldn't change her for a doctor. She bosses me around and makes me take care of myself better.
You can find her and other GIs like her at Southwest Medical Associates at the corner of Charleston and Rancho. But, like I said, it'll probably be very hard for you to get an appointment so good luck!smilewinkgrin
Diagnosed with typical Crohn's at 16.
Got lucky with Asacol for a year, then even luckier with ten years of relative remission.
Now abscesses and fistulas are having an "atypical" Crohn's party around my junk.
My HMO refused the Remicade and now I could be going on Lialda or sulfa? blah


grayeyedblonde
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 383
   Posted 3/10/2010 11:57 AM (GMT -7)   

This is SO what I thought...and was afraid of.

debilitated: have you seen her personally? Or just looked her up and saw the good ratings? Not sure if she is a "preferred provider" thru my insurance, but will check it out.

gypsyfp: Thanks for the info. I will look into them also. I have never even heard of a fistulogram, let alone had one done. Never had a small bowel follow thru either. My GI has never even LOOKED down there! (I guess he had to when he did my scope though, hunh?) My anal fistula developed after my resection in July and he just takes my word that its there.

My main worry is ME! I know me, if I don't have a good Dr to stay on top of this, keep me on track and be more proactive I will try to revert back to "just dealing with it." I know, ultimately, my health is my responsibility and with having the resection and hearing that I have a very severe case that involves almost of all of the small bowel and colon, I need to be more responsible about taking care of this. It would just be nice to find someone who will actually TALK to me about what's going on instead of do this or take that.

I work in a mental health facility and I talked to our Psychiatrist about refilling my Klonopin since my previous Dr is no longer covered on my insurance. He also told me that there were very few good GI Drs here in Vegas. Said most of them were more interested in sending patients in for scopes every 6 months since that was where the money was. A patient came in so I didn't get a chance to ask him if he knew of any GOOD ones.

Thanks for the help! I really appreciate it!

 


Dx'd w/ Crohn's in 1979 at age 14, have had minor flares throughout the years, but mostly kept in remission. Bad flare 2008 but no health insurance so I dealt with it. Colonoscopy in July 2009 caused a perforated colon, emergency bowel resection. Was on Pred. Dr. wants to try Humira...
Currently just take a multivitamin, calcium, magnesium, and fish oil.


gypsyfp
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 336
   Posted 3/10/2010 1:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I can't believe your doctor never even looked at your fistula!???
That is unbelieveable. Is he young and shy or something?
And how can you be diagnosed with a fistula if you've never done a fistulogram?!
Your story is making me love my GI more and more.
You're right about the colonoscopy. That's where the big bucks are. It seemed like everybody and their mother was getting one done when I went in for mine in December.
The first time I met with my GI, we talked for an hour about all the things I've been going through since I was a kid. And she really busted my ovaries for not taking maintenance meds over the years.
She reminds me of my physiotherapist who really got on my case after I injured my leg. She wouldn't take no for an answer either and really made me take care of myself. Set up a treatment plan that got me healed from a injury and back to running.
Some people just need a doctor/GI/physiotherapist who is more stubborn than they are, a type of person who won't let things slide.
Keep at it!
Diagnosed with typical Crohn's at 16.
Got lucky with Asacol for a year, then even luckier with ten years of relative remission.
Now abscesses and fistulas are having an "atypical" Crohn's party around my junk.
My HMO refused the Remicade and now I could be going on Lialda or sulfa? blah


grayeyedblonde
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 383
   Posted 3/11/2010 5:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Like I said, he just takes my word for it. I can see the perianal one when I look in a mirror. When I told him about it, he asked me some questions and said "Yep, sounds like a fistula."  He may be a GI, but I feel I know more about this disease from my own research and what I've learned on this board then he does.

Dx'd w/ Crohn's in 1979 at age 14, have had minor flares throughout the years, but mostly kept in remission. Bad flare 2008 but no health insurance so I dealt with it. Colonoscopy in July 2009 caused a perforated colon, emergency bowel resection. Was on Pred. Dr. wants to try Humira...
Currently just take a multivitamin, calcium, magnesium, and fish oil.

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