RGA's Dr. Joseph Vicari was featured in a national news story about colonoscopies during the COVID-19 pandemic. While nonurgent screening colonoscopies are being postponed at this time, "there are some instances where a patient may need to undergo a colonoscopy despite current recommendations, such as if unexplained rectal bleeding or anemia occurs, as well as 'imaging suggestive of malignancy and findings suggestive of a new diagnosis of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.'"
“Preparations administered to cleanse the colon for colonoscopy do not impair the immune system and would not increase the risk for coronavirus infection,” added Vicari. ... See moreSee less
RGA Telehealth is here! We know your digestive health symptoms don’t quarantine themselves in the face of COVID-19. We are still here for you. RGA Telehealth is a secure online, web-based appointment that lets you connect with your RGA physician or nurse practitioner for consultation and diagnosis, and to discuss treatment options. This is available for current RGA patients and for new visits.
RGA Telehealth visits will work on both Android and iPhone phones, tablets, and computers. They can be scheduled online at rockfordgi.com or by calling 815-397-7340. From there, you will be given the option to schedule a virtual visit and we will send you instructions on how to install the program on your device.
Most insurance networks have expanded benefits amid the national COVID-19 pandemic to cover virtual/digital health care services (also known as telehealth or telemedicine). Check with your insurance company to see if your plan is included.
RGA Telehealth is meant to give you the same time and attention you would expect at a clinic visit. Our goal is to always provide 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨, now using a different platform that is secure and more convenient during this unpredictable time.
It is essential to seek help for GI symptoms even while the shelter in place order is in effect. These symptoms can be signs of more serious issues, and a virtual visit can help determine what – if any – next steps are needed and help ease your concerns. Please also know you can call us anytime at 815-397-7340 with additional questions or concerns. ... See moreSee less
And what's best you can still be screened for colon cancer at home with Cologuard! No risk of catching any virus or any of the risks associated with colonoscopy. If you're over 45 you should consider this, go to cologuard. Com and use their new "teladoc" style ordering platform. They'll ask you some questions to see you qualify. After all, nobody will be doing any screening colonoscopies for some time.
We have received a lot of questions about what our patients with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) should do to protect themselves in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to share with our IBD patients recent expert consensus:
1) Having IBD does NOT appear to increase the risk of infection with COVID-19.
2) Some patients with COVID-19 may present with diarrhea or other GI symptoms. If you have IBD and are experiencing worsening symptoms, please contact your RGA provider.
3) IBD patients should stay on their stable maintenance therapy to remain in remission.
4) 5-ASA medications such as Pentasa, Apriso, Lialda and Sulfasalazine are not considered strong immune-suppressing drugs and remain safe to take.
5) IBD patients on immune-suppressing medication (Remicade, Humira, Stelara, Entyvio, Cimzia, Xeljanz, Imuran/Azathioprine, 6-Mercaptopurine, Methotrexate and Prednisone) are encouraged to contact their RGA primary provider to discuss their specific risk. They should follow the shelter-in-place order as mandated by the state of Illinois. For those patients on immune-suppressing medications as listed above and who work in the essential sector, we recommend that you discuss this with your RGA provider.
6) Please refer to the CDC and Crohn's & Colitis Foundation websites as listed below for additional and emerging information.
Our own Dr. Joseph Vicari was part of a panel of experts for an American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy - ASGE webinar for the GI community about the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Vicari chairs the ASGE Practice Operations Committee and is a member of the Education/Curriculum Competencies Council. More than 1,000 providers and GI practice leaders participated to learn more about guidelines and recommendations. ... See moreSee less
RGA is OPEN! More than ever, we are committed to caring for our community during this stressful and uncertain period. And we have increased our already extensive cleaning and sanitizing policy to make sure patients remain safe and healthy during their visit or procedure in our nationally accredited facility.
To keep our community safe and healthy, we ask all patients to contact us at 815-397-7340 if you or the driver for your procedure have symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or difficulty breathing, if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or if you have traveled outside the Rockford area in the last 14 days.
Our team will help determine if it is best to keep or reschedule your appointment. RGA will stay updated on the latest developments from local, state and federal agencies. ... See moreSee less
Please be assured that if you are feeling healthy and well, it is safe to make and keep your appointment at Rockford Gastroenterology Associates amid concerns about COVID-19, also known as coronavirus.
If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please call us at 815-397-7340 to reschedule your appointment. Please also consider these symptoms for anyone who might be accompanying you for your visit or procedure.
We are dedicated to providing the highest level of patient care and are monitoring recommendations from local, state, and national officials. We will keep you informed of any changes and continue to prioritize safety for our patients and staff. ... See moreSee less
If you scrolled through our photos from Friday's IceHogs game, you may have seen Jason Buell. Jason was diagnosed with colon cancer in June 2018 and was recognized during the game as a cancer survivor. He also dropped the puck to kick off the action!
Jason's treatment included chemotherapy, two surgeries, complementary medicine and faith. He has been cancer free since early 2019. Jason was diagnosed through a colonoscopy and encourages others to seek medical attention immediately if they are experiencing any prolonged digestive abnormalities.
He'll never forget the proactive care and attention he received from his medical team. He is forever thankful to his family, friends, acquaintances and strangers who supported him on his path to healing. He is especially grateful for the love and support of his wife and children who gave him courage during a trying time. Jason was born and raised in Rockford and lives here with his wife, Miranda and two sons, ages 12 and 9.
A big thanks to Jason and his family for being advocates during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month!
Check out the column in the Rockford Register Star | rrstar.com from RGA's Dr. Aaron Shiels about screening options for colorecal cancer. Colonoscopy is still considered to be "the gold standard for both the prevention and diagnosis of colon cancer." ... See moreSee less
Rockford gastroenterology is the best. I was scared to get it done 6 years ago. Went to Rockford gastroenterology for the procedure and I didn't feel a thing. I made a big deal of this before getting it done. The hardest part is preparing at home the day before. Lol lol I lived in my bathroom for about a half of day before the procedure. Go to Rockford gastroenterology and get it done. You will be glad that you did.
Been there a few times myself. I agree.... it's a good place.
He did my husbands procedure yesterday!! Great doctor!!!