The health care providers at Mercy Clinics Gastroenterology specialize in diagnosing and treating adults with a wide variety of hepatic, digestive and intestinal medical conditions. We will work with your primary care provider to coordinate your specialized care, however, seeing a health care provider at Mercy Clinics Gastroenterology does not require a referral.
Locations and Appointments
Mercy Clinics Gastroenterology offers appointments at four convenient locations in central Iowa. To schedule an appointment in Ankeny, Clive (main office), East Des Moines (Pleasant Hill) or Indianola, please call (515) 222-7600.
Mercy Clinics Gastroenterology has nurses available to answer patient questions regarding illness, medications and test results. If you have a question, please call (515) 222-7600 and select option 3.
Established patients in need of a prescription refill should contact their local pharmacy first, and if needed, they will contact our office to verify the prescription information. Ongoing prescriptions are available as needed for patients who are seen on an annual basis.
Fees, Insurance and Payment
Fees for office visits vary, depending on the scope of care and the time required for evaluation and treatment.
Mercy Clinics accepts most insurance plans. Please refer to your insurance provider directory for a complete list of participating physicians and verify that your insurance plan is accepted when calling to schedule an appointment. If your insurance is a co-payment plan or it is one in which our clinic does not participate, we ask that you pay at the time of service. If your insurance plan requires you to have a referral, please obtain this referral from your primary care provider prior to your scheduled appointment.
If you have questions about your bill, please contact a patient account representative at (515) 643-2519.
Conditions and Procedures
The specialists at Mercy Clinics Gastroenterology provide treatment for a variety of gastrointestinal conditions including:
- Colorectal Cancer Screenings
- GERD/Barrett’s Esophagus
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Eosinophilic Esophagitis
- Celiac Disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Diverticular Disease
- Peptic Ulcer Disease
- H Pylori Infection
- GI Bleeding
- Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis
- Bile Duct Stones/Strictures
- Cirrhosis Jaundice
- Acute and Chronic Hepatitis (including Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C infection)
- Autoimmune Hepatitis
- Primary Biliary Cirrhosis
Providers at Mercy Clinics Gastroenterology are trained to perform the following procedures:
- Small Bowel Enteroscopy
- Capsule Endoscopy
- Ambulatory PH Monitoring/BRAVO
- Esophageal Manometry
- Internal Hemorrhoidal Banding
- Therapeutic ERCP
- Enteral and Biliary Stenting
- Endoscopic Ultrasound/FNA
- Endoscopic Mucosal Resection
- Argon Plasma Coagulation
- Remicade Infusions
- Iron Infusions
- Trigger Point Injection for Myofascial Abdomen Pain
Hepatitis is a general term used to describe inflammation of the liver. If hepatitis is caused by a virus, it is given a letter that corresponds to the type of virus. Hepatitis C is a type of virus that can cause chronic infection, meaning it will live in your liver forever, unless it is treated.
When a person becomes infected with hepatitis C, he or she may not experience any symptoms. In some cases, mild symptoms such as fatigue, or severe symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, jaundice and/or dark urine may occur. When left untreated, hepatitis C may lead to severe liver complications such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. Since hepatitis C may not produce any symptoms, it often goes undetected until these complications develop. That’s why it is important to detect the virus early and seek treatment immediately.
Hepatitis C is transmitted when a person comes in contact with contaminated blood. Activities that may increase the risk for getting hepatitis include sharing injection needles, body piercing, tattoos, hemodialysis and receiving blood transfusions (especially those received before 1992). Recent studies show the vast majority of people infected with hepatitis C were born between 1945 and 1965, and most of those individuals are not aware they have the infection.
Testing for Hepatitis C
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends anyone with risk factors for hepatitis C get tested. Your regular doctor can perform a simple blood test to determine if antibodies to the hepatitis C virus are present. If the test shows antibodies are present, it means you were infected with the virus at some point. It is important to note antibodies to the hepatitis C virus will always be present in a person who has been infected, even if he or she has been cleared of the virus.
In the past, treatment for hepatitis C was not very efficient. Treatments often had a number of unpleasant side effects, required six to 12 months of therapy and worked less than half of the time. Newer medications offer patients a cure from the virus with minimal side effects and, in many cases, treatment only takes 12 weeks. This big change in the way hepatitis C is treated has improved the life of many patients, and, as more research is conducted, we expect the treatment options to continue to cure hepatitis C in better and more efficient ways.